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Eco-study finds proposed IMO Arctic bunker ban 'no ban at all'

A PROPOSED UN Arctic polluting fuel ban has come under attack for not being strict enough, reports EURACTIV Media Network of Brussels

07 September 2020 - 19:00

A PROPOSED UN Arctic polluting fuel ban has come under attack for not being strict enough, reports EURACTIV Media Network of Brussels.

The proposed ban from the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) polluting bunker fuel in Arctic waters would only eliminate five per cent of the most harmful emissions due to waivers and exemptions, warned a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation's (ICCT).



The IMO calls for a total ban of heavy fuel oil from 2024, reflecting a similar Antarctic ban in place since 2011.



But a number of exemptions and waivers would allow 74 per cent of the HFO-burning fleet to continue to use the fuel until 2029, a new study says, meaning that it would only reduce black carbon emissions by five per cent instead of the 30 per cent reduction promised by a full ban.



The ICCT findings show that oil tankers and cargo ships would not be subject to the ban if it were implemented in its current form.



'In short, we found that the IMO's proposed HFO ban contains so many loopholes that it's no ban at all,' said the group's Bryan Comer, who also warned that for certain types of vessels like bulk carriers and tankers, the use of the fuel has skyrocketed since 2015.



'An HFO ban with no exemptions or waivers is the most protective,' the study authors write, although they acknowledge the merits of a compromise that removes the double-hull exemptions, but allows Arctic countries to offer some waivers.



Under the current proposal, Russia, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Norway would be able to offer waivers to vessels in their waters. The ICCT suggests that a limited offering of perks could reduce emissions by 22 per cent.


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