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NGO's: Shipping ignores Arctic risks

Environmental organizations are far from pleased with the Polar Code draft finished by the IMO on Friday. The draft lacks rules concerning Arctic areas without ice, they say.

Photo: Stena Bulk

IMO's so-called Polar Code, which determines rules for environment and safety related to Arctic sailing, does not cover the dangers of sailing with non-ice-class and poorly equipped ships in Arctic and Antarctic waters without ice, the NGO's warn.

Blinded by the prospects of ice-free sailing when the ice melts, IMO commits the cardinal mistake of allowing ships to sail in the regions without particular requirements for ships' hulls or restrictions such as reduced speeds, says Bill Hemmings, spokesman for NGO's such as Seas at Risk, Transport & Environment, and others.

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