Ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic full of holes: environmental group

Ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic full of holes: environmental group

The global body that regulates shipping is moving to eliminate a highly polluting fuel in the Arctic.

The International Maritime Organization has passed a draft regulation to ban heavy fuel oil in the North by 2024.

An environmental group monitoring talks says the proposal is full of loopholes and would lead to the fuel being used for another decade.

Andrew Dumbrille of the World Wildlife Fund says the ban as proposed would allow Arctic nations to exempt their own ships for another five years.

He says that means ships will continue to burn heavy fuel oil for another decade.

Dumbrille says Canada and other Arctic nations compromised to get Russia to agree to the draft, which goes for final approval in October.

Research suggests that heavy fuel oil is the most common fuel used by ships in northern waters.

That’s despite its being so thick that it is difficult to clean up. It also  spews soot into the air, speeding up the melting of sea ice.

Russian vessels are the biggest users and research suggests that Canadian-flagged ships come in second.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020

The Canadian Press

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