As a meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Pollution Prevention and Response committee opens today in London, Seas At Risk and the Clean Arctic Alliance call on the IMO to radically reduce the impact of black carbon emissions from shipping on Arctic sea and glacier ice, by putting in place a compulsory requirement for ships across the whole Arctic to immediately switch to cleaner distillate fuels. This follows an open letter published by the Clean Arctic Alliance to IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim, asking him to personally call on all IMO members to treat the Arctic climate crisis with the urgency that it demands.

The reduction in black carbon emissions, which are a potent climate forcer, would be achieved through a mandatory switch from dirty residual fuels to distillate fuels by ships operating across the broader Arctic, given the impact that such emissions from shipping in and close to the Arctic regions can have on sea and glacier ice. The recent IPCC Synthesis Report makes clear that rapid, deep and sustained action is needed across all sectors. To remain on or below a 1.5oC warming trajectory, ship climate impacts must be halved by 2030, with full decarbonisation close to 2040. This must include immediate cuts in black carbon emissions from ships, especially from those operating in and near to the Arctic

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