Global Shipping Inches Forward on Heavy Fuel Oil Ban
The International Maritime Organization started work defining which fuels would be banned and how. It also listed ideas to cut black carbon but didn’t prioritize.
The International Maritime Organization inched forward this week on its promises to ban the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic and reduce black carbon emissions from ships.
Meeting in London, the United Nations regulatory body’s Pollution Prevention and Response subcommittee began work on defining which fuels would be banned and how. It also came up with a list of possible measures for cutting emissions of black carbon but didn’t set priorities.
An assessment of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of a ban, put in motion last year, is expected to be finished before the subcommittee’s next meeting in 2020.
The Clean Arctic Alliance, a group of more than a dozen environmental organizations, issued a statement that said it “welcomes the progress” but noted that much work still must be done if the ban is to be phased in between 2021 and 2023.
Heavy fuel oil, a particularly dirty form of oil, poses a significant environmental hazard if spilled. It also emits high levels of black carbon, a short-lived climate pollutant that also affects human health.
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