Help Us Get Ships off of Dirty Fossil Fuels

Did you know that about 90% of the goods you consume are transported across the world by ships? Many of those ships are powered by dirty fossil fuels that pollute our air and oceans and worsen the climate crisis.   Join us this #GivingTuesday to get ships off of dirty and outdated fossil fuels. Help us … Read more

More Ships, More Risks: How We’re Protecting the Arctic

As Arctic sea ice continues to diminish, more ships are traversing routes that were once death-defying feats. In the last decade, ship traffic through the Bering Strait alone has more than doubled. The Arctic is home to hundreds of communities and tens of thousands of marine mammals like beluga whales, walruses, and seals. All this … Read more

An Open Letter to the International Maritime Organization on Ship Scrubbers

Dear Mr. Kitack Lim, International Maritime Organization Secretary-General: We are writing to draw your urgent attention to new information regarding the efficacy of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) to meet the standards set forth in MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 4 for emissions reductions equivalencies. Scrubbers have been referred to as “emissions cheat” systems and for … Read more

The Elephant in the Room in Paris

It’s no small irony that many of the small island nations most at risk from rising sea levels such as the Marshall Islands are also some of the foremost countries for ship registries. Called by some the “elephant in the room,” meaningful commitments to reduce emissions from shipping are critical to containing climate change. Shipping … Read more

Arctic Ocean and Wildlife Warrant Special International Protection

Co-authored by Alex Levinson and Kevin Harun, Pacific Environment First published in High North News and Huffington Post Imagine traveling seas beset by hurricane force winds, extreme waves, poorly charted waters, and long seasons of darkness. Where calls for help may not be readily answered. Now, imagine pristine seas where exotic wildlife, some traveling great … Read more

Arctic Peoples and Wildlife Receive Unique, Historic Protection

Today, we celebrate a historic win for the Arctic, its wildlife, and its peoples. After years of negotiations, at 9 a.m. London time, the international community agreed to establish some special protections for this magnificent region. The new laws, known as the Polar Code, forbid ships traversing the Arctic to dump garbage, sewage, and oil … Read more

Walrus Haul-Outs on Beaches: Some Solutions

In late September, about 35,000 walrus crowded together on a beach in northwest Alaska. This was not an isolated incident, but its sheer size attracted a lot of media attention. It clearly showed that climate change is severely altering walrus behavior. These walrus haul-outs are happening on both sides of the Bering Strait. Pacific Environment’s … Read more

Polar Code: U.S. Should Lead HFO Ban

Op-Ed first published in The Maritime Executive Former U.S. Coast Guard commandant Admiral Robert Papp is visiting Alaska for the first time in his new capacity as the U.S. special representative for the Arctic. Admiral Papp was appointed last month by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. This is a proposal requesting Admiral Robert J. … Read more

Creating a Strong Polar Code Is Our Priority

We all know climate change is having a huge impact here in the northland – and with it the Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. Arctic sea ice is disappearing fast. Credible research now suggests that the Arctic may be ice free during the summer as early as this decade —84 years earlier than previously predicted … Read more

Protecting the Arctic Means Protecting Its People

With climate change melting Arctic ice at an ever alarming rate, we know big changes are in store for this pristine environment. But what impact will the big meltdown have on people? I have talked with climatologists who say that one big impact will be erratic weather. High pressure tends to center over the coldest … Read more

The Arctic: The New Wild West

Centuries ago, European settlers stumbled upon the New World, a pristine world teaming with wildlife and abundance. Immediately the race was on to exploit these resources which were thought to be limitless. We now know what happened to the great northern forests, the prairie, the buffalo and the Native Americans who depended on the environment … Read more

Why is the U.S. Okay with Trashing the Arctic?

When you throw a piece of trash from your car window, or get rid of your old computer in the woods anywhere in the United States, you’re violating littering or dumping laws, and chances are that you’d have to pay a fine if caught red-handed. But when it comes to the Arctic, our representatives think it’s okay to let … Read more

Ship Traffic Threatens Arctic

Climate change is melting the Arctic ice cap at an alarming rate. As the ice recedes, it gives way to new new sea routes—setting the stage for a dramatic increase in ship traffic that threatens the subsistence lifestyles of indigenous peoples and the health of the Arctic environment. Why should we care that more oil tankers, cargo … Read more