IMO completes Polar Code environmental rules | Barentsobserver
IMO completes Polar Code environmental rules
The new shipping rules will apply to both the Arctic and Antarctic after January 1, 2017
The UN International Maritime Organization has drafted the environmental regulations chapter for the Polar Code, a binding set of regulations for shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic. Critics argue that some important environmental pieces are missing.
By James Thomson
October 24, 2014
The International Maritime Organization has completed the last element of the first-ever binding set of international rules for the Arctic shipping.
Last week in London, the United Nations organization approved the environmental rules that make up the second half of the Polar Code, which is expected to come into force at the start of 2017. The regulations for safety, the first chapter of the Code, were approved last spring.
EIA Calls for 10-Year Moratorium on Arctic Shipping » Ship & Bunker
Monday October 27, 2014
EIA Calls for 10-Year Moratorium on Arctic Shipping
The proposed Polar Code would place environmental protections in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions
UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is advocating a 10-year moratorium on Arctic shipping, IHS Maritime 360 reports.
The NGO said last week in a report that it believed it would take those 10 years for the Polar Code to become finalised and come into effect.
“The suggested time frame of being ’in force’ by way of national legislation and full and rigorous implementation [any earlier] seems optimistic,” said senior policy analyst and co-founder of EIA Allan Thornton.
NunatsiaqOnline 2014-10-21: COMMENTARY: Canada should use the Polar Code to stand on guard for communities
For northern communities and economies, the expected growth of Arctic shipping has the potential to bring new jobs and industries, lower cost of living, and new infrastructure and investment.
But with these exciting opportunities come certain risks that must be managed.
This week, a draft international agreement — the Polar Code — was reached for new shipping regulations in the Arctic at a meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s environment committee.
Melting ice cap opening shipping lanes and creating conflict among nations
t’s July and a cargo ship, laden with some 70,000 tons of coal, is slowly wending its way from Russia to China across the top of the world. This ship is functional, not beautiful; it’s longer than two football fields and at least 30 yards wide. As it enters the Kara Sea, north of Russia, the water is scattered with ice floes that are like small islands. With the aid of an icebreaker ship, the cargo ship makes its way steadily under the 24-hour sun to deliver its goods.
In 2004, the possibility of a large commercial tanker crossing the Arctic from Europe to Asia was pretty much nil: even with a trail blazed by sturdy icebreaker ships, dense ice obstructed too much of the route. A decade later, that same journey is almost routine. Rapidly rising temperatures the world over—especially in the northern Arctic zone—now allow some 100 of these mammoth ships to travel the Arctic waters in the summertime, delivering iron ore, coal and other commodities.
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