Friends of the Earth accuse cruise lines of failing to clean up their act

//Friends of the Earth accuse cruise lines of failing to clean up their act

Cruise lines are accused of failing to act to reduce the impact of air and water pollution, in an updated report from Friends of the Earth.
The 2012 version of the Cruise Ship Report Card, documenting the environmental impact of the cruise industry, claims that more than half the ships graded in 2010 have not shown any significant improvement.
FoE assesses ships on their sewage treatment facilities and the pollution caused by fuel burnt to provide propulsion and power.
The report concludes that Disney Cruise Line has shown the greatest improvement – likely to be due to the fact that the company’s two new ships are more technically advanced than its older vessels.
Five other lines are calculated to have improved their environmental impact grades in the past two years: Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, Silversea, and Carnival.
Only six lines – Disney, Norwegian, Celebrity, Cunard, Seabourn, and Royal Caribbean – are awarded A grades for their sewage treatment standards. None of the companies score higher than B+ for the achievements they have made in reducing air pollution. Ten of the 15 reviewed received the lowest grading, an F.
“For the third time, Friends of the Earth has found that many cruise lines are still not doing enough to limit the environmental impact of their ships,” said Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels project director for FoE.
“From ending the use of dirty fuel that pollutes the air to stopping the disgusting practice of dumping partially-treated sewage and other waste into the sea, it’s time for the cruise industry to clean up its act. The unfortunate reality is that, at present, many cruises harm marine ecosystems and the health of people who live near ports of call.”
Coincidentally, Carnival UK issued its own sustainability report yesterday, demonstrating the initiatives which the company’s ships have introduced to reduce environmental impact, and giving a commitment to pioneer or implement “aggressive” energy efficiencies in ship design, retrofitting and operations and to seek out renewable and other energy sources to achieve “significant” reductions in greenhouse gases.
Its Green World Tours shore excursion programme, linked to conservation and other charitable foundations in cruise destinations, won an award for Environmental Initiative of the Year, and it has used money generated by the removal of silver from on-board photographic waste to support marine life safaris on kayaks along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
P&O and Cunard ships have been awarded the Venice Blue Flag for voluntarily agreeing to use low sulphur fuels when visiting the city, and Carnival UK ships also self-generated 87 per cent of the water used on board compared with 65 per cent in 2008 while, pro rata, their CO2 emissions were down 32 per cent on 2008.
CEO David Dingle said: “”As a market leader in the UK and Europe we recognise the need to set the agenda for building an industry that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.”
Royal Caribbean say they have reduced their greenhouse gas footprint by 18 per cent and their overall fuel consumption by 19 per cent since 2005, adding: “There are three main ways that we seek to minimize air pollution from our ships: reduce overall energy use (and thus associated emissions), ‘scrub’ emissions before they are released to the air, and use alternative energy sources.”
The Florida-based Cruise Lines International Association advised consumers not to rely on the report card, which it says “lacks basis in fact, science and law. The grades assigned cruise lines and their ships are based upon arbitrary, faulty and misleading measures.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:41+00:00 5 December 2012|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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