Help Protect the Arctic from Shipping

The Arctic Ocean and its coastal seas are facing the impacts of climate change twice as fast as other areas on the planet. As a result, melting sea ice is making new Arctic shipping routes more accessible to large vessels.

International shipping (which emits 2-3% of total global carbon emissions) is already accelerating this sea ice habitat loss. These emissions, and increasing ship traffic in the Arctic, are putting wildlife and local communities at greater risk from oil spills and other pollution.

Climate change and its impacts to the Arctic are not an opportunity to exploit through shipping routes, but are instead a global issue we all must take action to address.

Join Ocean Conservancy in taking action today—tell the International Maritime Organization to put into place measures that will protect Arctic marine wildlife from vessel traffic impacts and reduce the industry's role in driving climate change.
Help protect the Arctic from shipping

Considering the climate crisis and the contribution of the global shipping sector, the IMO must take immediate actions to further safeguard the Arctic from the impacts of shipping. These actions include drastically reducing emissions from global shipping, with an eye to fully decarbonizing the sector, and putting into place common sense regulations to ensure any shipping along Arctic routes is safe and does not exacerbate existing impacts to the region. For example, the use and carriage for use of Heavy Fuel Oil must be immediately banned, as it is in Antarctic waters.

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We encourage the IMO and its member countries to immediately enact short-term measures to address the climate crisis, such as slowing ships down to reduce emissions right away. In the long-term, the development of zero emissions vessels must be encouraged and put into service as soon as possible. Similarly, strict pollution regulations must be put into place immediately, with an eye toward eliminating any impacts to the Arctic. The time for action is now and the IMO must no longer delay important protections for the rapidly changing sea ice and other unique habitats of the Arctic.


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