Nabu ranking: “Climate protection in cruise shipping is currently above all lip service”

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Cruise ships 2020
Nabu ranking: “Climate protection in cruise shipping is currently above all lip service”

Two cruise ships in the Geirangerfjord in south-west Norway in summer 2019

© Sigrid Harms / DPA

Most shipping companies are far from meeting the requirements of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. That is the result of the Nabu cruise rankings published today. But the organization also presents the vision for emission-free cruise shipping.

For the tenth time, the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (Nabu) has presented its environmental ranking for cruise ships. There are still only a few clean ships and hardly any shipping company forego the use of heavy fuel oil in favor of the lower-sulfur marine diesel.

This year the environmental organization has decided not to evaluate individual ships. Because by querying the 18 largest cruise providers on the European market, an exact grid was created to what extent the shipping companies are already implementing short-term climate protection measures by 2023.

“Hardly any cruise line currently has a specific strategy to push ahead with the consistent conversion of the fleet towards emission-free operation,” is the conclusion of the study presented on Thursday in Hamburg.

When it comes to the focus on the shipping companies, providers such as Ponant from France, Aida Cruises from Rostock and MSC from Switzerland are still in the best position. These have already begun on individual ships with environmentally friendly drives and some have been implemented in pilot projects. Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Hurtigruten and Ponant, which mainly operate small expedition ships in their fleets, have also banned the toxic heavy fuel oil and run on diesel.

At the bottom of this year’s ranking are Norwegian Cruise Line from Miami and Phoenix Reisen from Bonn, which among other things operates the “Amadea”, the ZDF dream ship.

“Climate protection in cruise shipping is currently above all lip service,” said Nabu Federal Managing Director Leif Miller. “Nine out of 15 providers commit to the Paris climate goals when asked. But they have no comprehensible strategy as to how the goals can be achieved.”

Industry should use compulsory break

The Nabu demands that the industry not postpone any investments in climate protection that have already been promised due to the corona crisis. “The industry, which has been used to success so far, should take advantage of the compulsory break to seriously deal with the question under which conditions the cruise can have a future,” says Daniel Rieger, Nabu’s cruise expert.

The organization appeals to politicians that environmental and climate protection requirements become a prerequisite for any promised state aid. In addition, shipping must be included in emissions trading. For too long it has been left to the industry itself to decide whether and what contribution it wants to make to climate protection.

Vision for an emission-free cruise ship

With the commissioning of the first hybrid ships with liquefied gas or temporarily electric propulsion, the cruise industry is considered a trendsetter in shipping. However, in order for cruises to remain fit for the future, a switch to emission-free drive technologies by the year 2050 at the latest is essential.

In addition, the Nabu has a three-stage schedule with measures developed. “In the next three years, we would have to say goodbye to heavy fuel oil, develop an individual climate strategy and use shore power.

The first emission-free ship would have to go into operation by 2030 and a zero-emission standard would have to take effect for all new buildings, “this is the demand of Nabu. Nabu also requires EU-wide shore power obligations so that residents in the ports are relieved of air pollution .

At the moment there are hardly any cruise ships sailing the oceans. Due to the corona pandemic, cruise tourism almost completely came to a standstill in March. Since then, the ships have been in anchorage with hull crews. A positive side effect: this enabled us to significantly reduce pollutant emissions from cruise ships worldwide.

Also read:

– Corona outbreak on the Hurtigruten ship – 36 infections

– “Wages between 3 and 5 US dollars are not uncommon”

– “Floating Petri dishes”: Cruise companies are in their greatest crisis

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