20 dec 2018
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced its commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 percent by 2030.
Progress toward the 40 percent target will be measured against a 2008 fleet baseline, and emissions rates will be calculated based on the fleet’s total carbon emissions, total ship berths and total distance traveled. CLIA plans to report annually on the industry’s progress toward the commitment.
The reduction will be fueled by technologies for energy efficiency in ship design and propulsion. The industry’s first LNG-powered ship AID nova launched last week, and some 25 such ships could be operating by 2025. While LNG ships principally address pollution, there is a corresponding benefit for carbon emissions reduction.
The global cruise industry has invested billions of dollars in new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce ships’ emissions and in the design and development of lower emissions and higher energy efficiency cruise ships. The December 2018 Cruise Industry Sustainability Guide states that cruise lines will also implement Ship Energy Management Plans for route planning and maintenance to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
As part of a broad focus on sustainability, CLIA members have agreed to develop training programs which raise the level of environmental awareness of both crew and passengers.
“Today’s announcement is a tribute to cross-industry collaboration and a shared commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Arnold Donald, Global CLIA Chairman and President & CEO of Carnival Corporation & PLC. “We aspire to the IMO’s vision of a carbon-free shipping industry by the end of the century. Our commitment to a 40 percent reduction in the rate of emissions by 2030 is a strong first step toward realizing that vision.”
However, the announcement has been criticized. “While this sounds like a huge step in the right direction, it will likely prove virtually meaningless, as the reductions are intensity reductions, not absolute reductions,” said international environmental organization Stand.earth. For example, between 2013 and 2015, the cruise sector reported an intensity reduction of six percent, while the absolute emissions from the sector — the amount of greenhouse gases actually emitted — increased by six percent. According to CLIA, carbon emissions will be calculated based on total carbon emissions, the number of people the ship can host — called available lower berth — and distance traveled. That means the more the sector expands its fleets, and the farther these ships travel, the more climate-damaging pollution it can release while still reporting decreasing emissions, says Stand.earth.