A study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) entitled ‘One Corporation to Pollute Them All’ has found Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest luxury cruise operator, emitting nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide (SOX) around European coasts than did all 260 million European cars in 2017.
The world’s second largest, is second, yet four times worse than the European car fleet.
In absolute terms, 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 de Mallorca and Venice are the most impacted European port cities, followed by Civitavecchia (Rome) and Southampton.
These countries are exposed to air pollution from cruise ships due to less stringent marine sulphur fuel standards which allows the vessels to burn high sulphur fuel all along their coastlines.
“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,” said Faig Abbasov, shipping policy manager at T&E.
Europe should implement a zero-emission port standard as soon as possible, this could then be extended to other ship types, finds the study.
The report also recommends extending emission control areas (ECAs), currently in place only in the North and Baltic Seas and English Channel, to the rest of the European seas.
Furthermore, the report recommends regulating NOX emissions from existing ships, which are currently exempt from NOx standards applying in emission control areas.
“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,” concluded Faig Abbasov.
“The cruise sector are apparently not willing to make the shift voluntarily, so we need governments to step in and mandate zero emission standards.”
The report ‘One Corporation to Pollute Them All’ can be downloaded here.
Photo credit: Transport & Environment
Published: 6 June, 2019
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