Report slams cruise ship emissions

2019-06-17T10:56:25+00:00 June 17th, 2019|Safety|

Carnival Corp emitted nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide (SOx) around European coasts than all of the 260 mill European cars in 2017, according tonew analysis by the sustainable transport group NGO, Transport & Environment (T&E).
The second largest cruise ship operator, Royal Caribbean Cruises, came second – four times worse than the European car fleet.
In absolute terms, the report said that Spain, Italy and Greece, closely followed by France and Norway, are the European countries most exposed to SOx air pollution from cruise vessels, while Barcelona, Palma (Maj) and Venice are the most impacted European port cities, followed by Civitavecchia and Southampton.
These countries are more exposed because they are major tourist destinations, but also because they have less stringent marine sulfur fuel standards, which allows cruise ships to burn the dirtiest most sulfurous fuel all along their coastlines, T&E claimed.
Faig Abbasov, T&E shipping policy manager (pictured), said: “Luxury cruise ships are floating cities powered by some of the dirtiest fuel possible. Cities are rightly banning dirty diesel cars but they’re giving a free pass to cruise companies that spew out toxic fumes that do immeasurable harm both to those on board and on nearby shores. This is unacceptable.“
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions from cruise ships in Europe also heavily impacted some cities, equivalent to about 15% of the NOx emitted by Europe’s passenger car fleet in a year, the report said.
In Marseille, for example, in 2017, 57 cruise ships emitted almost as much NOx as 25% of the city’s 340,000 passenger cars. Along the coasts of countries, such as Norway, Denmark, Greece, Croatia and Malta, a handful of cruise ships are also responsible for more NOx than the majority of their domestic car fleet.
Europe should implement a zero-emission port standard as soon as possible, which could then be extended to other ship types. The report also recommended extending emission control areas (ECAs), currently in place in the North and Baltic Seas and English Channel, to the rest of European waters.
Furthermore, the report recommended regulating NOx emissions from existing ships, which are currently exempt from NOx standards applying in emission control areas.
Abbasov concluded: “There are enough mature technologies to clean up cruise ships. Shore-side electricity can help cut in-port emissions, batteries are a solution for shorter distances and hydrogen technology can power even the biggest cruise ships. The cruise sector are apparently not willing to make the shift voluntarily, so we need governments to step in and mandate zero emission standards.”