Clean Arctic Alliance Applauds Expedition Cruise Industry Ban On HFO
Talking about the report that the 30 member companies of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) have come together and agreed on putting a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic, the Lead Advisor of Clean Arctic Alliance Dr Sian Prior said, “With an International Maritime Organization ban on the use of carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic coming over the horizon, we welcome the decision made by AECO’s 30 expedition cruise companies to get ahead of the crowd, and for forging a path towards powering Arctic shipping with cleaner fuels.”
“That so many shipping and associated companies have recognized the risks associated with HFO, including both oil spill risks and black carbon emissions, by signing up for a ban, sends a strong message to decision-makers in Arctic governments and all International Maritime Organization Member States – who must pay heed. AECO members are demonstrating that not only is it possible to end the use and carriage of HFO in the Arctic but that the expedition cruise sector is prepared to lead the way. In comparison, the conventional cruise industry still has a long way to go towards getting rid of HFO onboard its ships: it should take note, and follow the lead of the expedition cruise industry.”
The announcement by AECO comes before the IMO’s decision to ban the usage and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships that are operating in the Arctic globally which was to be put into force in February 2020.
“Amid reports this month that some Arctic islands are 8 degrees warmer than normal, and Scientific American reports that ‘scientists have been underestimating the pace of climate change, it is particularly welcome that the expedition cruise sector is prepared to demonstrate leadership and take action to reduce the amount of black carbon, a short-lived climate-forcer, being emitted in Arctic latitudes.
“While we anticipate that a global ban on the use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships operating in the Arctic will be in place by 2023, it would be wonderful if other shipping operators followed AECO’s lead. The Clean Arctic Alliance launched the Arctic Commitment – a declaration of intent to not use or carry HFO as fuel in the Arctic – with expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten nearly three years ago, and we would welcome Arctic Commitment signatories from other parts of the shipping industry – the container sector, general cargo sector or even the bulk sector,” continued Prior.
AECO signed to the Arctic Commitment to removing the use of heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping. The Arctic Commitment was launched in January 2017 at the Arctic Frontiers Conference by the Clean Arctic Alliance and Hurtigruten (an AECO member). The major goal of the Arctic Commitment is to save the communities and the ecosystem of the Arctic from the negative impacts of the HFO. It urges the IMO to ban the usage and carriage of HFO as a shipping fuel in the Arctic. In Antarctica, HFO has been banned since 2001.