Activists say IMO must tackle impact of black carbon emissions on Arctic

As NGOs today called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to halve shipping emissions by 2030 ahead of next week’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 77), Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, said:

“Next week, the IMO must tackle the impact of black carbon emissions on the Arctic, a short-lived climate forcer responsible for 20% of shipping climate impact. To achieve this, the IMO must urgently put in place strong measures to drive fast deep cuts black carbon emissions from shipping operating in or near the Arctic, and to urgently reduce CO2 as well as black carbon emissions from the maritime sector globally.”

“A proposal for a resolution calling on ships operating in and near the Arctic to move from heavier, more polluting fuel oils to lighter distillate fuels has been submitted to MEPC 77 by eleven IMO Member States”, she added. “If all shipping currently using heavy fuel oils while in the Arctic were to switch to distillate fuel, there would be an immediate reduction of around 44% in black carbon emissions from these ships. If ships also installed a particulate filter black carbon emissions could be reduced by over 90%.”

“The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) findings show that the levels of climate ambition and timelines currently on the table for shipping at the IMO are totally inadequate”, continued Prior. “It is imperative that measures due for adoption at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 77) be strengthened to ensure they drive fast deep cuts in CO2 and black carbon emissions from ships, especially those visiting or operating near the Arctic.”

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