On August 21st, NABU presented its cruise ship ranking 2019. The findings of this year’s evaluation demonstrate that only a small proportion of fleets is becoming cleaner, while the industry by large continues to depend on heavy fuels and fails to employ exhaust technology.
Just one newly built cruise ship uses LNG, German environment association NABU noted, adding that the remaining checked ships coming into the market this year, will continue to use heavy fuel oil. Namely, AIDAnova will be the first cruise ship using liquefied natural gas LNG.
NABU and Ecologistas en Acción found levels of contamination up to 70 times greater in the the Strait of Gibraltar and Barcelona, than the pollution on cities. Under this light, Ecologistas en Acción called the Spanish government to join France in the creation of Sulfur Emission Control Areas that limits the entry of highly polluting vessels in the Mediterranean.
Despite claims that newer vessels are clean and green, pollution from the cruise ship industry is still massive and little progress has been made towards emissions reduction, according to NABU’s 2017 cruise ship rankings. The cruise industry responded to the study by claiming that these rankings disregard legally-proved technologies.
Air samples taken in the port of Reykjavik, Iceland, show high concentrations of ultrafine particles, according to NABU experts, who found that air pollution levels in the wind direction from arriving or departing vessels were up to 1,000 times higher compared to local background concentrations.
BirdLife Malta announced that an alliance of European environmental organisations has adopted a declaration to designate the Mediterranean Sea an Emission Control Area, to limit air pollution from ships. The initiative comes after France undertook a bold attempt to push for a Mediterranean ECA, at a European Council working party meeting, in early March.
German Cruise Line AIDA responded to NABU’s accusations that the company’s fleet of ships is a true polluter. The environmental association said that measurements recently conducted on AIDA Prima ship have showed that its chimney belches out a lot of smoke. AIDA’s sustainability office issued a statement, claiming the charges scientifically void.
NABU finds its criticism confirmed that cruise ships’ exhaust gases not only severely damage the environment but also harm human health. Undercover air tests on the passenger deck of a European cruise ship now unveiled high loads of health damaging ultra-fine particles in the ambient air.
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