If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

IMO Takes Major Step Towards Ending Dirty Fuel Use in the Arctic

IMO Takes Major Step Towards Ending Dirty Fuel Use in the Arctic

Washington, D.C - Today the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to develop a ban, on an appropriate timescale, on the use and carriage for use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) hails this critical step towards protecting Arctic species like the beluga whale from a catastrophic HFO spill.

A ban on HFO was proposed by Finland, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US, and was supported by the majority of delegations during an often passionate debate this week on the impacts the shipping industry has had on the Arctic and global climate. After considering several proposals, including one by Canada urging consideration of possible impacts on local community prices, the IMO agreed to “on the basis of an assessment of the impacts, develop a ban on HFO for use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters, on an appropriate timescale.” The Organization also agreed to consider additional mitigation measures to reduce the risk of HFO spills from carriage.

“We are pleased by the IMO’s agreement on banning HFO use in the Arctic this week,” said Daniel Hubbell, Policy Analyst for EIA. “An HFO spill can scar an ecosystem for decades, harming belugas and other species each time they move through a contaminated area. The most effective way to prevent this kind of persistent HFO spill is to ban its use in the region.”

Heavy fuel oil is a cheap and dirty fossil fuel that powers the majority of the world’s shipping fleet and accounts for 75 percent of fuel carried in the Arctic. When HFO spills in areas like the Russian White Sea, it has been difficult to clean up with traditional methods. The presence of oil well above safe levels has been measured more than a decade after the Russian White Sea oil spill and has led belugas and other species to abandon the contaminated area entirely.

Today’s agreement by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee is the culmination of two years of growing momentum for an HFO ban. Representatives from the Arctic’s indigenous communities of Alaska, Canada, and the Russian Federation also spoke at the IMO in support of a ban, including Canadian activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier.

“The IMO’s decision to include an assessment of this ban’s impacts on local communities shows the Organization is listening to the needs and concerns of the Arctic’s indigenous communities and a willingness to prevent an HFO spill rather than respond to one after the damage is done,” said Hubbell.

Press Contacts

Daniel Hubbell, Policy Analyst (dhubbell@eia-global.org)

Lindsay Moran, Head of Communications (lmoran@eia-global.org)

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

Update on North American Safety Standards for Climate-Friendly Refrigerants
03/25/2020
This month a new standards proposal under ASHRAE-15, represents some progress for uptake of climate-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants to replace super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The proposal allows hydrocarbons to be used in corridors and lobbies of commercial buildings like hotels. It allows up to 114 grams of propane where previously none was allowed at all. This will enable vending machines and most other light commercial refrigeration equipment like small one door beverage coolers containing hydrocarbons to be used in these spaces.
California’s New Plan to Reduce HFCs in Supermarkets
02/03/2020
Part one in a series on policy trends on eliminating HFCs, emerging from California.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
03/25/2020
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.
Search, Reuse and Destroy: Initiating Global Discussion to Act on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem
11/06/2019
Search, Reuse and Destroy: Initiating Global Discussion to Act on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem

Recent Press Releases

EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks
03/17/2020
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
EPA Rescinds Requirements on Super-Pollutant HFCs, Reversing Basic Safeguards on Leaks
02/27/2020
EPA Rescinds Requirements on Super-Pollutant HFCs, Reversing Basic Safeguards on Leaks
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge