Area of action
PAME’s 2020 Arctic Shipping report showed an increase in shipping activities in the Arctic region from 2013 to 2019. The number of vessels increased by 25%, and distance sailed by 75%. The increase coincided with diminishing sea ice in the Arctic and increasing natural resource extraction. A recent analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reported black carbon emissions from shipping doubling between 2015 and 2021 in IMO Arctic waters with residual fuels use the main source (64%) of BC emissions from shipping in IMO Arctic waters. Use of distillate fuels could cut black carbon emissions by an estimated 50-80% for ships currently using residual fuels. In marine areas north of 58.9 degrees N, ICCT estimated black carbon emissions from 8577 vessels sailing in that area at 1.5 kt black carbon, with 413 kt of this from 1866 vessels sailing in IMO Arctic waters.
Emission reductions through the IMOView Action
Emission reductions through national and sub-national actionsView Action
According to some estimates, shipping was responsible for 0.7% to 1.1% of anthropogenic black carbon emissions in 2015 (Comer et al. 2017). Between 2015 and 2021, black carbon emissions from shipping in the Arctic doubled. Given the increase in shipping, black carbon emissions from the sector is of interest in the Arctic.
One of the two actions identified within the Area Shipping concerns emission reductions at the national and sub-national levels while the other one focuses on the international level of activities, where the key operator regulating shipping emissions is the IMO. Other key organisations working with black carbon emissions from international shipping are the Arctic Council (PAME, EGBCM), CCAC and ICCT. PAME is actively engaged in the black carbon work, including the identification of actions for the revision of the Arctic Council Arctic Marine Strategic Plan extending until 2025. EGBCM has a recommendation to “work to accelerate efforts under the International Maritime Organization to mitigate black carbon from international shipping” (Arctic Council 2019). The work of the international organisations is complemented by efforts of the national and local authorities to reduce black carbon emissions on the respective level.