IMO to cut ship-sourced emissions of black carbon

IMO member states will be summoned by  the Clean Arctic Alliance (CAA) to reduce the impact of black carbon emissions from international shipping on the Arctic environment.

This issue will be pointed to agenda on the meeting of IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC74) in London from May 13-17. Also, heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic region will be discussed during the MEPC74.

It is well-known that emissions of black carbon causes a climate warming effect. As well as the second leading cause of global warming, black carbon emissions are also harmful to human health. This was mentioned by CAA.

“By cutting ship-sourced emissions of black carbon, IMO member states could take a quick and effective path to countering the current climate crisis, and minimize further impacts on the Arctic,”said Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

“We’re calling on IMO member states to champion a move away from using heavy fuel oils – shipping’s number one source of black carbon – in Arctic waters. With cleaner shipping fuels already available and innovation and ambition driving the global shipping industry towards lower emissions, IMO member states must move rapidly towards zero emission solutions.”

“All eight Arctic countries made a commitment to demonstrate leadership on black carbon in 2015 – and it now seems that all except Canada are backing a move away from heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. As recent comments from Russia’s President Putin and Finland’s President Niinistö demonstrate, the political will for a HFO Free Arctic exists – now it is the time for IMO Member States to turn this will into action, by moving urgently to reduce black carbon emissions and by backing the ban on the use and carriage of HFO in the Arctic, currently under development.”

Last year, at MEPC 72 in April 2018, a strongly-worded proposal to ban HFO as shipping fuel from Arctic waters was co-sponsored by Finland, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US. The ban is currently being developed within the IMO.

CAA also reiterated a warning by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned that we have 12 years to limit a climate change catastrophe. Recent reports suggest that Greenland’s ice sheet is endangered, with about half of the nearly 5,000 gigatons of water lost from the ice sheet since 1927 occurring in 8 years between 2010 and 2018.


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