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Премия рунета 2017

BAN ON HEAVY FUEL OIL IN ARCTIC IS GETTING CLOSER

25 february 2019
Last week, in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters, at the 6th session of the Subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6), the delegates finalized the methodology for assessing the impacts of a ban on heavy fuel oil in shipping traffic throughout the Arctic. It means that in a year they will have developed the agreement on parameters of the ban to be introduced.

The use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic implies the threat of accidental spill and constant emission of soot and other pollutants. In 2018, IMO made a “political” decision to introduce a ban on this type of ship fuel. To develop the rules on the introduction of the ban, it was decided that each Arctic country should estimate its positive and negative outcomes. That was the reason why it was necessary to develop and approve the methodology that was finalized at the 6th session of the Subcommittee PPR. By the end of the year, the Arctic countries will be analyzing economic, social, and environmental impacts of the ban. Their findings will be used in 2020 to determine exact parameters of the ban, such as the schedule, milestones, exceptions, etc.

“Russia is interested in the development and approving of the Methodology for the ban outcome assessment since we have the largest share of shipping operations in the Arctic,” says Aleksey Knizhnikov, Head of the Program for the Business Environmental Responsibility at WWF-Russia, WWF delegate and participant of the session. “Our country may face the widest range of consequences. This is why the Russian delegation was so active in discussing the Methodology.”

Prior to the session, an international consulting company supported by Clean Arctic Alliance - the environmental coalition WWF is a member of — conducted preliminary assessment of economic consequences related to the ban on heavy fuel oil. It was partially based on the example of shipping operations at LUKoil’s Varandey Terminal. The research showed that the costs for the ships operating in the terminal will increase by 6 % approximately in case of distillate fuel conversion or stay the same in case of LNG conversion. 

Photo: (c) Vladimir Gershenzon / WWF-Russia

Environmental and economic research conducted by WWF-Russia confirms the effectiveness of the Arctic ships LNG conversion as well as the replacement of oil and carbon products for the energy supply of the “Severnyy Zavoz.”

“We hope Russia will stick to its active and constructive attitude toward reducing accidental spills and emission of pollutant matters and greenhouse gases in the Arctic," pointed out Aleksey Knizhnikov. “Obviously, our country can take the lead in converting its Arctic fleet to alternative fuels, such as LNG, for instance. In the medium term, it will help us reject oil-based fuels at all.” The expert noted the importance of political support, as Vladimir Putin has recently spoken in favor of gas fuel in his message to the Federal Assembly in February 2019.

Over the past several decades, WWF-Russia has been for the benefit of Russian nature and people. For these 25 years, the Fund has implemented more than 1,000 field projects in 47 regions of Russia. The WWF-Russia is a Russian national organization (since 2004).

Photo in the caption and in the announcement: (c) Vladimir Filatkin / WWF-Russia.

For additional information please contact
Oil & Gas Programme Leader