German Maritime LNG Platform signs arctic commitment against use of HFO


German Maritime LNG Platform has signed the Arctic Commitment, supporting the ban of heavy fuel oil (HFO) use in Arctic shipping.

The Arctic Commitment was initially launched by Clean Arctic Alliance in January this year, and urges businesses and organisations to come forward and call on the International Maritime Organisation to implement a phase-out of polluting HFO from the Arctic shipping sector by 2020.

HFO is a viscous fossil fuel used to power ships, which currently poses a great threat to the environment and is generally considered the dirtiest and most polluting shipping fuel.

HFO breaks down even more slowly than other types of fuel if spilled in colder regions such as Arctic waters, and is capable of causing huge damage to wildlife and their ecosystems.

German Maritime LNG Platform managing director Tessa Rodewaldt said: “Shipping needs to become more sustainable and international regulation on shipping emissions is increasing, for the better.

"With this July’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee fast approaching, it’s time for companies and governments to support decisive action to clean up Arctic shipping."

“Such regulations must also apply to the Arctic region, which is particularly fragile.

“By using liquefied natural gas (LNG), emissions can be substantially reduced, which lowers the impact of shipping on the natural environment of the Arctic region.”

The German Maritime LNG Platform is a coalition of roughly 100 members and partners from across the maritime sector, both in Germany and abroad.

Clean Arctic Alliance lead advisor Sian Prior said: “With this July’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee fast approaching, it’s time for companies and governments to support decisive action to clean up Arctic shipping. The Platform’s support comes at a crucial time for us.”

Various organisations such as the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators have already signed the commitment against the use of HFO.