Sune Scheller – project leader of Greenpeace Nordic – told The Independent any regular shipping route in the Arctic Ocean ultimately risked an ‘environmental catastrophe’.
‘The most immediate threat comes from some of the problems with the fuel’ he said.
‘Maersk hasn’t spoken about which kind of fuel this [ship] is using but in general container ships are using heavy fuel oil – which is basically what’s left in the barrel.”
Mr Scheller said the ‘dirty fuel’ had ‘consequences’ for the environment – including adding to particulate matter in the atmosphere.
Also known as black carbon – particulate matter rests on white surfaces like ice and snow and absorbs heat instead of reflecting it – which contributes to climate change.
According to The Economist ‘just 15 of the biggest ships emit more of the noxious oxides of nitrogen and sulphur than all the world’s cars put together’.