Clean Arctic Alliance expresses frustration at MEPC 74 lack of progress

The Clean Arctic Alliance has expressed frustration at IMO member states’ failure to address the risk to the Arctic from emissions of black carbon from international shipping.

After the latest  meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) closed on Friday May 17th, the CAA noted that a proposal by the Clean Shipping Coalition and Clean Arctic Alliance member Pacific Environment to immediately switch away from heavy fuel oil – a major source of shipping’s black carbon emissions – to distillate fuels did not garner adequate support from Member States.

The Alliance noted however that there was broad support among Member States for regulations to control black carbon emissions.

 “After a decade of debate on black carbon emissions from shipping, IMO member states are squandering their chance to respond to its impacts on the Arctic”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

“The IPCC has made clear that we have less than 12 years to counter the worst effects of the climate crisis. Arctic countries and those with an interest in the Arctic have a moral obligation to act on black carbon emissions, following last week’s statement from Finland’s Chair of the Arctic Council, confirming ‘support for enhanced national efforts and international cooperation to reduce black carbon emissions across the Arctic”.

Dr Prior said that “there’s some consolation that as the meeting closed, it was agreed that concrete proposals should be put forward for consideration at PPR 7 in February 2020, but it is a real shame that member states did not seize the opportunity to make some preliminary decisions this week, including that Arctic shipping should move away from heavy fuel oil to lighter fuels, which could immediately cut black carbon emissions by around one-third”.