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A Clear Pathway for Achieving Arctic Green Shipping Corridors

This is a debate article, written by an external contributor. The article expresses the writer’s opinions. High North News is not responsible for the content in external links.

In May, Nordic climate and environment ministers signed an agreement to establish green corridors for emission-free shipping between ports in the Nordic Region. By cleaning up shipping in the region, this ambitious and progressive move has the potential to protect our air, our climate, our marine environment and the health of millions of people.

This is why the Clean Arctic Alliance, made up of 20 international non-for-profit organisations, has now written to the ministers from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to propose a number of domestic and international actions which would help to rapidly kick-start the establishment of these green corridors in Arctic waters.

First, and foremost, within the 12 nautical territorial limit of each country’s domestic waters, we suggest the banning of the use and carriage of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) – the dirtiest fuel used by shipping. Norway has already introduced such a ban in the waters around Svalbard, and this action should provide inspiration for other governments.

Such a ban will be an international requirement from July 2024 in some Arctic waters, when the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Arctic HFO ban comes into effect.

However Norway has demonstrated leadership in introducing the ban in Svalbard’s sensitive waters from the beginning of this year, and Clean Arctic Alliance members INCA and Green Transition Denmark are urging similar bans on the use and carriage of HFO to be introduced in Iceland’s waters and the waters off mainland Norway.

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