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The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee has approved the establishment of two new Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in Canada’s Arctic waters and the Norwegian Sea.

The ECAs, proposed by both Canada and Norway, were endorsed by IMO member states during last week’s MEPC 81 meeting. The primary aim of these ECAs is to reduce emissions such as sulphur oxides (SOx), particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from international shipping.

The new ECAs areas are now set to be adopted during the MEPC 82 meeting in October, with entry into force from March 2026. The change will cap the sulphur content of fuel used by ships in the areas to 0.1%, unless using alternative fuels like LNG or an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) aka “scrubber.”

Read More: IMO MEPC 81: negotiations on new GHG reduction requirements continue

The Clean Arctic Alliance applauded the move and said the areas are expected to drastically cut the amount of polluting air emissions from ships.

The creation of an ECA in Canadian Arctic waters will reduce polluting air emissions from ships, improve air quality for northern populations, deliver benefits to both marine and terrestrial habitats and wildlife and also contribute to a reduction in climate-forcing black carbon pollution in the Arctic”, continued Prior. “The Norwegian Sea ECA will reduce impacts on human health and contribute to reduced deposition of nitrogen and sulphur along the Norwegian coast, including a 58% reduction in particulate matter, such as black carbon, by 2030 compared with 2020. Both ECAs will significantly reduce air pollution from ships in the Arctic.”


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Issue 90 of Robban Assafina

(Mar./April 2024)


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