IPCC SROCC Reports Call for HFO Ban

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 26, 2019

Image: Clean Arctic Alliance

Image: Clean Arctic Alliance

The Clean Arctic Alliance and the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada call for urgent action to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) use and carriage by Arctic shipping to reduce risks of a devastating spill, and to reduce black carbon emissions in the Arctic, responding to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

SROCC’s Summary for Policymakers states that “Arctic ship-based transportation and tourism have implications for global trade, northern nations, and economies linked to traditional shipping corridors; they will also exacerbate local risks to marine ecosystems and coastal communities if further action to develop and implement regulations does not keep pace”.

The Summary for Policymakers recognizes that shipping activity in the Arctic has increased over the past two decades, and highlights the need for urgent action to ensure that environmental regulation keeps pace with the increasing interest in Arctic shipping routes.

“The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate makes clear that an International Maritime Organization ban on the world’s dirtiest fuel – heavy fuel oil – is imperative if we are to diminish the risks to the Arctic environment from increased shipping”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, a coalition of 18 international non-governmental organisations working for a ban on heavy fuel oil from the Arctic.

“Emissions of black carbon in the Arctic, from the burning of fuels such as heavy fuel oil, further exacerbates the accelerated melting of sea ice in the Arctic caused by climate change.”

“As the IPCC SROCC points out, immediate measures are needed to curb black carbon emissions and prevent risks of spills of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic waters. With increased shipping passing through the Arctic waters of Inuit Nunaat comes the need to protect the marine ecosystem, which is part and parcel of our lifestyle and culture. We send an immediate message to global leaders to take action to make sure that our environment is not at risk of devastation and ban the use of heavy fuel oil, ensuring our communities are not negatively impacted.” said Lisa Koperqualuk, Vice-President of Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada.

The publication of SROCC coincides with the Arctic sea ice reaching the second lowest minimum in the satellite record. This year has tied as the second lowest in the satellite record, along with 2007 and 2016, while 2012 remains the record minimum.

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