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Criticism of cruises: Nabu: Climate targets of the cruise industry unacceptable

Criticism of cruises: Nabu: Climate targets of the cruise industry unacceptable
Criticism of cruises: Nabu: Climate targets of the cruise industry unacceptable

According to NABU, some cruise companies are planning to not operate in a climate-neutral manner until 2050. The Nature Conservation Association thinks that this is too slow. The cruise association Clia sees things differently.

The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) has criticized the climate goals of several cruise companies. “It is irresponsible for an industry to set itself goals that fall short of the climate goals of the Federal Republic,” said NABU transport officer Sönke Diesener. According to NABU, eight out of twelve cruise companies said in a survey that they wanted to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. “That is neither acceptable nor justifiable – especially for a leisure activity,” said Diesener. A total of 14 companies were surveyed, two did not respond.

Climate neutral means that the climate is not affected. The federal government wants to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality in Germany by 2045.

The Nabu survey covered, among other things, environmental and climate protection measures, the use of heavy fuel oil, the use of shore power, soot particle filters and catalysts that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

From the answers, the Nabu has created a ranking in which Hurtigruten, Havila and Hurtigruten Expeditions from Norway take the top spots. Diesener said that in Norway there is cheaper shore power from hydropower and stricter rules. From Germany, Mein Schiff comes out on top, followed by the providers Aida Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The cruise giant Carnival is in second to last place, the Marella line in last place.

Cruise association calls for more renewable fuels

“The cruise industry is committed to the overarching goal of climate neutrality by 2050,” said the cruise industry association Clia in Germany about the Nabu ranking. The goal is in line with a greenhouse gas strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for international shipping. The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

According to the association, one challenge in decarbonizing shipping is the wide availability of renewable energy sources. Politicians are called upon to encourage the ramp-up of renewable fuels with ambitious production targets, the association demands. Shore power must also be available, Clia said. Half of the Clia fleet has shore power connections. The number is expected to continue to rise in the coming years.

Cruises are becoming more sustainable, according to economist

Cruise ships always have an impact on the environment, says Burkhard Sommer, deputy head of the maritime competence center at the auditing and consulting firm PwC Germany. Nevertheless, the industry is becoming more sustainable in Germany and abroad, which is due in part to the use of new fuels and filters as well as shore power systems.

Sommer believes that the trend will continue. “On the one hand, due to increasingly strict regulations,” says the expert. “And on the other hand, due to a clientele that is increasingly paying attention to sustainability, even on vacation, and is prepared to spend money on it.”

Nabu: Shore power is ready

In Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock, shore power is available for cruise ships, said the chairman of the Nabu Hamburg, Malte Siegert. Siegert called on the shipping companies to use the systems. “Otherwise, shore power must be mandatory in order to protect people in the cities from exhaust fumes.” There is still no shore power in Bremerhaven. The plan is for a system to go into operation at the cruise terminal in 2025, as Bremenports announced.

Shore power use increases in Hamburg

Shore power systems supply ships with electricity. One advantage is that ships connected to the systems do not have to burn climate-damaging marine diesel. However, many ships do not yet use the shore power systems. In Germany, the cost of electricity is rather high and not all ships can use shore power.

There are several cruise terminals in Hamburg. Shore power has been flowing at the terminal in Altona since 2017, and at the terminal in Steinwerder since April, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) said in response to a request. A shore power system is planned at another terminal, the Cruise Center Hafencity, which is currently under construction. According to the HPA, 270 ship calls are planned in Hamburg during this year’s cruise season. For 135 calls, or half, the ships are scheduled to use shore power from renewable energies. In recent years, shore power has been used far less.

Aida Cruises announced on the occasion of the Nabu ranking that the company had supplied cruise ships with shore power from renewable energies during 45 calls at European ports last month. Over the whole of last year, the company had achieved fewer purchases. According to the company, all Aida Cruises ships that are deployed in Northern Europe can use shore power.

Source: Stern

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