Campaign pushes heavy fuel oil ban in Arctic shipping

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

26 January 2018


An ambitious campaign for a ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping has successfully harnessed the power and influence of 65 companies, organisations, politicians and explorers, since its launch in Tromsø twelve months ago. Revealed at the Arctic Frontiers conference in January 2017 by the Clean Arctic Alliance – a coalition of non-governmental organisations – and expedition cruise ship operator Hurtigruten, the Arctic Commitment aims to protect Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil, and calls on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ban its use and carriage as fuel by Arctic shipping. “Banning the use and carriage of HFO in Arctic waters is the simplest and most effective mechanism for mitigating the consequences of a spill and reducing harmful emissions. An HFO ban has already been in place in Antarctic waters since 2011”, said Dr Sian Prior, advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance. “Thanks to the strong stance taken by Arctic Commitment signatories, we are seeing a growing understanding of the HFO problem, along with increased momentum to end its use by Arctic shipping," Sian added. In a statement, IKEA Supply AG, the logistics arm of the world’s largest furniture manufacturer, which signed the Arctic Commitment in October 2017, said “by signing the Arctic Commitment, IKEA Supply AG wants to support efforts to protect the fragile Arctic environment and to demonstrate that doing good business can be achieved by being a good business”.