As Carnival Corporation’s first ships of the season arrive in the Arctic, an international environmental group coalition has jointly called on the cruise giant to stop using heavy fuel oil (HFO) on ships sailing in fragile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.
A petition can be found at cleanupcarnival.com, which will be delivered to Carnival Corp’s CEO Arnold Donald at the company’s headquarters.
July marks the beginning of Arctic cruise season and the ‘Rotterdam’, operated by Holland America Line recently arrived in the Arctic. With cruises in this fragile ecosystems scheduled to grow, they must change their fuel source in order to prevent destroying the very climate they are going to see, the environmentalists said.
“Not only does Carnival’s use of heavy fuel oil increase global climate change — the risk of an oil spill poses a major threat to Arctic wildlife and coastal communities. Worse still: HFO is virtually impossible to clean up, particularly in cold and remote Arctic waters. It’s time for Carnival to move past meaningless talk of its climate values and actually end its reliance on the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.” said Karen Mahon, Strategy Director, Stand.earth.
“Carnival’s burning of heavy fuel oil in their cruise ships is destroying the environment their customers are paying to see. It’s time they take responsibility and switch to clean fuels.” added Lucy Gilliam, Shipping Officer, Transport & Environment.
“Tourism provides the unique opportunity to experience the Arctic’s beauty first hand. Cruise ship companies should not be using one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet, which threatens the Arctic marine environment and the indigenous peoples that depend on it for their very way of life.” commented Jim Gamble, Senior Arctic Programme Officer, Pacific Environment.
By powering its ships with HFO, Carnival is causing devastating effects to Arctic communities impacted by melting sea ice. When burned, HFO releases greenhouse gases and other dangerous pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and soot (or black carbon). This soot settles on sea ice, rapidly accelerating its melting. The sea ice loss is devastating for Arctic wildlife and is heavily impacting Arctic communities.
The coalition is calling on Carnival to:
· Switch all ships in Carnival fleets to low sulfur diesel fuel, and immediately end the use and carriage of all heavy fuel oil and heavy fuel oil blends in Canada, Alaska, and Arctic routes.
· Reduce black carbon pollution on all ships in Carnival fleets by installing diesel particulate filters.
· Take the lead in developing and implementing clean shipping technologies that help power cruise ships without fossil fuels completely.
The ‘Clean Up Carnival’ campaign is being led by Transport & Environment in Europe, and Stand.earth and Pacific Environment and Friends of the Earth in the US.