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Thread: Arctic Sea Ice: Climate Change, Oil and Trade

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    a.k.a. Alpensun Ringenwald's Avatar
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    Arctic Sea Ice: Climate Change, Oil and Trade


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    On one hand these new Arctic routes will reduce the distances and fuel waste for international shipping, but on the other hand, the last clean sea waters of the world will now be polluted as well.

    When we see what the Russians have done of the Baltic Sea (it is now the most polluted sea in the world), there is matter to worry about the Arctic...

    Thankfully, the "evil bureacrats" of the EU are already moving on to limit the disaster:

    EU wants ban on heavy fuel in Arctic

    In a resolution, adopted on Tuesday by 111 votes to 8, with 1 abstention, Members of the European Parliament’s Committees on Foreign Affairs and Environment says heavy-fuel oil (HFO) should be banned from all ships navigating Arctic waters.

    If put into force, such a ban would dramatically increase the costs of sailings to Arctic Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, Canada, Alaska and trans-Arctic shipments between Europe and Asia via the Northern Sea Route. Light fuel oil is way more expensive than HFO.

    For the environment, heavy fuel oil has more negative impact because when burned, emissions sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and black carbon is much higher. A spill with heavy-fuel oil in Arctic waters could cause disastrous consequences for marine life, sea mammals and birds because it emulsifies on the ocean surface and is extremely difficult to clean up.

    The EU resolution will be put to a vote by the full Parliament on March 2nd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnenerbe View Post
    On one hand these new Arctic routes will reduce the distances and fuel waste for international shipping,
    This will likely be countered by something akin to Jevon's Paradox. If shipping becomes more efficient because of total voyage fuel cost, decreased transit time, more certainty about arrival times and port weather upon arrival, etc., it will likely result in more shipping. Even if this creates such an increase in fuel demand as to increase the cost of fuel and thus to a trip's total fuel cost, it can still be offset by savings in the other areas. So we end up with richer charterers and cheaper and quicker imports, but more fuel waste.

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