Environmentalists call on bunker industry to co-operate on black carbon

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 11 February 2020


After blaming new 2020 compliant fuels as a major source of black carbon, the Clean Arctic Alliance has issued a response to a joint letter sent to it by several organisations involved in bunkering and marine engine development.

Responding to last week’s collective and individual responses from the co-authors of the Joint Industry Guidance on “The supply and use of 0.5% -sulphur marine fuel” including IBIA, Concawe and others, the 18-member Clean Arctic Alliance has published an open letter to industry requesting that not only should individual organisations and companies take responsibility for ensuring that their fuels to not lead to further pollution, but that they should actively work to limit the climate impact from global shipping.

“We believe that at a time when the climate crisis is topping political agendas worldwide, and every sector is being set targets to reduce carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions, it would be unparalleled folly for the marine fuel sector to develop and market a product that takes black carbon emission reductions in the opposite direction. ”

The letter continues to say that “we believe the members of the marine fuel industry have a professional duty to alert the appropriate authorities at both national government level and at the IMO, when a situation arises where members were developing fuel types that would contradict established policy efforts to reduce black carbon”.

“What is crucial is that every possible effort is made to ensure the shipping industry reduces its climate impact and that new fuels contribute to this objective and not work against it.”

The letter concludes with three requests:

  • Will you work with us to ensure that all fuel parameters and data that are likely to affect emissions are made public, and in the case of fuels that are still in development before they are brought to market?
  • Will you work with us to ensure that no new fuel placed on the market results in increases in black carbon or other air pollutants?
  • Will you work with us to expedite measures to reduce black carbon emissions from the burning of existing fuels?

The issue is due for discussion at PPR 7 to be held at IMO’s London headquarters later this month.

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