During the Clean
Arctic Alliance webinar held on September 28, The IMO draft Arctic Heavy Fuel
Oil (HFO) regulation: A ban in name only?, the speakers explored the social and
legal implications of the International Maritime Organization’s draft Arctic
HFO regulation if adopted as currently drafted, and what it will mean for
Arctic environmental protection.
Clean Arctic Alliance calling on IMO Member States to modify the draft
regulation before it is approved
In light of the
inadequacies identified in the course of the webinar, the Clean Arctic Alliance
does not support the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Arctic HFO
regulation (or ban) as currently drafted and is calling on IMO Member States to
modify the draft regulation before it is approved. It is essential that the ban
on HFO use and carriage as fuel in the Arctic is “fit for purpose” and enters
into force quickly and provides the Arctic with the level of protection that it
so desperately and urgently needs.
Under the draft
IMO Arctic HFO regulation, exemptions and waivers will allow 74% of HFO-fueled
ships to continue using HFO in the Arctic until mid-2029. As a result, only 30%
of HFO carriage and 16% of HFO use will be banned under the current proposal
and it is likely that the amount of HFO carried and used in the Arctic will
actually increase following the ban taking effect in 2024.
The regulation is not flag-neutral, and this will have negative
according to legal advice provided to the Clean Arctic Alliance, the waiver
raises some serious concerns. The regulation is not flag-neutral, and this will
have negative environmental consequences. It will result in lower environmental
standards in Arctic territorial seas and exclusive economic zones than in the
Arctic high seas areas, and create a two-tier system of environmental
protection and enforcement. It could also maintain the risk of a catastrophic
HFO spill in Arctic waters and fail to address trans-boundary pollution risks.
Clean Arctic Alliance for an effective ban on the use and carriage of
heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping
The Clean Arctic
Alliance has been campaigning for the IMO to adopt an effective ban on the use
and carriage of heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping. If adopted as currently
drafted, The Clean Arctic Alliance believes that it will be a ban in name only.
The draft Arctic HFO ban regulation will be
discussed again during a meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection
Committee, 16-19 November 2020 (MEPC75)