Canada confirms support for Arctic HFO bn

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 19 February 2020


Canada has issued a statement confirming its support for a ban on HFO in the Arctic but wants any measures to be phased in after discussions with affected parties.

The statement says the Government of Canada takes the protection of the Arctic very seriously and continues to work with Member States at the IMO to find ways to reduce the environmental impacts of increased marine shipping in the North. Balancing environmental needs and economic impacts are a priority for the Government of Canada.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, announced the Government of Canada’s support for a ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters. Ministers also announced they will be seeking a phased-in approach to the ban as Canada discusses with IMO countries ways to help balance the environmental benefits with the economic realities of northern, Indigenous and Inuit communities.

Transport Canada has conducted a domestic impact assessment of the proposed heavy fuel oil ban in the Arctic, based on the methodology agreed upon at an IMO committee meeting in February 2019. The impact assessment is available on the Let’s talk marine fuel in the Arctic webpage. Visitors to this website are invited to have their say on how Canada can best reduce the environmental, economic and social risks associated with the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.

Transport Canada held, and continues to hold, consultations with Indigenous and Inuit communities, industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial/territorial governments and other federal government departments about the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.

“Canada is proud to play a leadership role at the International Maritime Organization by supporting this ban and is committed to continue working with other countries, northern residents and marine stakeholders to help reduce economic impacts on northern communities.” Said Garneau.

“As an active member of the IMO and consistent with Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, we are supporting international cooperation to manage the potential environmental risks associated with Arctic shipping while ensuring support for Canada’s Northern communities.” Added Philippe Champagne.

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