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Carnival: One corporation to pollute them all


From Ecohustler: Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest luxury cruise operator, emits 10 times more air pollution than all of Europe’s cars, says a new study. Carnival’s cruise ships emitted nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide around European coasts than did all 260 million European cars in 2017, a new analysis by Transport & Environment reveals.

Team Ecohustler

In April, Ecohustler disrupted Carnival Cruise’s AGM calling on the shareholders to reduce their company’s pollution using straight forward and affordable methods – like burning cleaner fuel. Since then, a new report outlines the corporation’s impact on the coastline of Europe. These vast floating cities are burning dirty bunker fuel and creating shocking levels of air pollution wherever they go. Shipping has been an unregulated industry for too long and action is urgently required.

Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest luxury cruise operator, emitted nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide (SOx) around European coasts than did all 260 million European cars in 2017, a new analysis by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment reveals.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, the world’s second largest, is second, yet four times worse than the European car fleet. SOx emissions form sulphate (SO4) aerosols that increase human health risks and contribute to acidification in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

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.

All photos by Greg English ©

These countries are so exposed because they are major tourist destinations, but also because they have less stringent marine sulphur fuel standards which allows cruise ships to burn the dirtiest most sulphurous fuel all along their coastlines.

Faig Abbasov, shipping policy manager at T&E, 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.“

NOX emissions from cruise ships in Europe also heavily impact some cities, equivalent to about 15% of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by Europe’s passenger car fleet in a year, the report finds. In Marseille, for example, 57 cruise ships emitted in 2017 almost as much NOx as one-quarter 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, this could then be extended to other ship types. 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.

Faig 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.”

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One corporation to pollute them all
Transport & Environment
The main purpose of this study is to analyse air pollution caused by luxury passenger cruise ships in European waters. The results show that the luxury cruise brands owned by Carnival Corporation & PLC emitted in 2017 in European seas alone 10 times more disease-causing sulphur dioxide than all of Europe’s 260+ million passenger vehicles. Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Norway are the most exposed countries to cruise ship air pollution in Europe. Among the major cruise ports, Barcelona, Palma Mallorca and Venice are the most polluted.

Environmental group grades cruise lines: Disney gets an A-; most others get F’s
USA Today
An environmental organization has released its grades of cruise lines and ships ⁠— giving most of the lines D’s and F’s ⁠— but the cruise industry is hitting back on the poor evaluations, citing tight regulations of the industry and calling into question the report card’s methodology. The 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card was released June 27 by Friends of the Earth (FOE), an international network of environmental organizations in 74 countries. Friends of the Earth said in its report card summary that taking a cruise can be more harmful to the environment and human health than other forms of travel.

Weeks After $20 Million Pollution Fine, Carnival Brags About “Corporate Citizenship” Award
Miami New Times
A judge nearly threw Carnival Corporation’s top executives in jail last April, after the company got caught dumping polluted water into the sea despite being explicitly ordered by a court to stop doing so. Ultimately, the world’s largest cruise company pleaded guilty to probation violations and agreed to pay a $20 million fine earlier this month over the pollution dumps. A court had already forced Carnival to pay a $40 million fine over different pollution-dumping problems in 2016. So how is the Miami-based Carnival handling the news? By bragging about being good, responsible corporate citizens, naturally.

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