HEAVY FUEL OIL BAN
- November 17, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Environment
Context : As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting gets underway this week, NGOs are calling for the body to rethink its draft heavy fuel oil ban, saying it doesn’t do enough to protect the Arctic.
- An agreement on the draft text of a ban on heavy fuel oil in the Arctic was reached at the IMO’s sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) meeting.
- The agreement sets out a ban on heavy fuel oil from July 1, 2024, but with certain exemptions allowed, including waivers for Arctic coastal state flagged ships until July 1, 2029.
- Other exemptions in the draft text include ships involved in search and rescue operations, or ships involved in oil spill preparedness and response.
- The NGOs say the number of exemptions set out in the draft text, and the length of time the exemptions would be in place, were an unacceptable risk to the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
Heavy Fuel Oil :
- Heavy fuel oil (HFO) is the term used to describe the viscous, low-cost fuels still mainly used in international shipping.
- HFO’s consistency would make clean up after a potential spill extremely complex in the Arctic says numerous reports as well as Arctic Indigenous organizations.
- This fuel is slower to evaporate than other fuels, which makes it more prone to getting trapped in ice, making recovery a challenge, especially in the Canadian Arctic, a region with very little infrastructure and response capabilities.
- HFO also produces black carbon.
- Black carbon is made up of fine matter produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels, which when deposited on ice and snow, absorbs heat instead of reflecting heat, contributing to global warming.