Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten has joined the Clean Arctic Alliance, a global coalition of environmental organisations supporting the ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) use in the Arctic region.

The company has also agreed to sign the 'Arctic Commitment', publicly pledging to refuse the use of HFO across its fleet of ships.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said: “The use of heavy fuel oil has already been banned in the Antarctic, now it’s time to ban it in the Arctic as well.

“The shipping industry must be frontrunners in promoting regulations that will secure sustainable Arctic growth.” 

"The Arctic Commitment makes a clear challenge to businesses to join us, and persuade the International Maritime Organization to phase out the use of HFO in Arctic shipping."

According to the Clean Arctic Alliance, banning the use of HFO on vessels will help achieve sustainable shipping in Arctic waters and will reduce the risks of spillage in this vulnerable region.

Clean Arctic Alliance advisor Dr Sian Prior said: “The Arctic Commitment makes a clear challenge to businesses and organisations to join us, and take part in persuading the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that it must phase out the use of HFO in Arctic shipping by 2020.

“This is a real opportunity for shipping companies operating in the Arctic to show leadership by switching from HFO before such a ban is in place.”

Various organisations and individuals, including filmmakers and journalists, have already signed the ‘Arctic Commitment’ to lend their support towards the cause, which aims to save Arctic region from the risks associated with HFO.