Arctic Council Urged to Cut Black Carbon Emissions from Shipping


Shipping is increasing in the Arctic. That has fuelled concerns about growing black carbon emissions. Photo: Pxhere

The Clean Arctic Alliance and its member organisation, Norway-based Bellona, called on the Arctic Council to take immediate action to mitigate black carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from shipping activities in the Arctic region.

Made up of 22 not-for-profit organisations, the Clean Arctic Alliance campaigns to persuade governments to take action to protect the Arctic, its wildlife and its people.

On 8 December 2023, the two organisations sent a letter to Morten Høglund, the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council.

In a letter, the organisations stressed the critical need for concrete measures to address the escalating environmental impact of shipping in the Arctic.

While Arctic diplomacy has paused, Arctic shipping traffic has not, with black carbon emissions doubling in recent years. According to November’s UNEP Emissions Gap Report, we are on course for nearly three degrees of warming by the end of the century, but ambitious action now to reduce black carbon emissions this decade could decrease the chances of triggering dangerous climate tipping points, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance said.

Senior Advisor for shipping and arctic issues at Bellona stressed the global expectation for leadership from the Norwegian chair and the necessity to set a course during its chairship “ […] which will lead to concrete 2025 results.” 

The Clean Arctic Alliance and Bellona urge Norway, as the current chair of the Arctic Council, to promote the development of a concrete zero-emission vision for Arctic shipping and support the development of a corresponding road-map leading to zero emissions - moving from oil-based fuels to cleaner alternative non-fossil fuels and the necessary on-shore infrastructure of alternative energy, to achieve the vision.

On 11 May 2023, Norway took over the chairship of the Arctic Council from Russia. Norway will have the chairship for the years 2023–2025.

Norway’s priorities and actions during its leadership of the Arctic Council between 2023 and 2025 will be critical to the future health of the Arctic Ocean. The time to act on Black Carbon emissions from shipping is now, says the letter.

The Clean Arctic Alliance and Bellona believe that addressing emissions of black carbon from shipping impacting the Arctic is a cross-cutting issue within the framework of the Arctic Council.

Source: Navingo