Iceland brings in 0.1% sulphur cap

Just as the 0.50% sulphur cap comes into force for international shipping virtually worldwide, Iceland from January 1st 2020 will require ships calling at the island to burn a maximum of 0.1% sulphur content fuel.

Iceland minister for the environment and natural resources Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson said that “vessels can use light types of oil fuel until they switch to other energy sources. I hope this will happen in the near future but heavy fuel oil is the filthiest, therefore it is extremely important to stop its use.”

The Iceland Nature and Conservation Association and the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed the new regulation, but highlighted that the new rule contained a loophole that allowed vessels to continue to burn polluting heavy fuel oil and emit black carbon, provided they use scrubbers to remove sulphur from the exhaust emissions.

Árni Finnsson of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association said that “Iceland’s new regulation to limit exhaust emissions with high levels of sulphur from shipping in Iceland’s waters is a positive step forward, but fails to address emissions of black carbon, which accelerates Arctic sea ice melt, and in turn accelerate the effects of human-induced climate change.”

The Iceland Nature and Conservation Association and the Clean Arctic Alliance is pushing for a ban from entering Icelandic waters on all vessels which burn or carry HFO.