In order to transform the cruise industry into a sustainable future business, the decisive factor is the switch to emission-free drive technologies by the year 2040 at the latest. The innovative ability of the providers can set the tone and pace of the entire shipping industry. more →
NABU cruise ship ranking 2020
Industry not on track for climate protection
The promises made by the industry are largely lip service
The majority of the cruise industry is far from meeting the requirements of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. That is the result of the NABU cruise ranking 2020. The query of the 18 largest providers on the European market showed that so far hardly any shipping company has a concrete strategy to push ahead with the consistent conversion of the fleet towards emission-free operation. At most, individual companies such as Ponant and AIDA have started developing the future drives and in some cases even used them in pilot projects. Even well known providers from Germany such as TUI Cruises or Hapag-Lloyd Cruises are not yet facing the challenge of climate protection, but even with comparatively small steps and together with MSC and the Norwegian provider Hurtigruten, they do significantly better than the industry average.
The industry is running out of time to be completely emission-free in 2050
Climate protection in cruise lines seems to be paying lip service at the moment. Nine out of fifteen providers commit to the Paris climate goals when asked, but have no comprehensible strategy as to how the goals can be achieved. There is even more lack of implementation.
In view of the crisis in the industry caused by the coronavirus, no investments in climate protection that have already been promised should be postponed. 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 industry can have a future. Politicians must also intervene, and environmental and climate protection requirements should become a prerequisite for state aid.
At the European level, regulations are taking shape that will include shipping in emissions trading and will abolish the tax exemption for marine fuels. The pressure on providers will increase. For too long it has been left to the industry itself to decide whether and what contribution it would like to make to climate protection - with known results.
Here you can find the complete overview of the cruise lines that are present on the European market as well as the caption for the grid.To the overview
NABU vision for emission-free cruise shipping in 2050
The basis for the 2020 cruise ranking is the NABU vision for emission-free cruise shipping in 2050. The three-stage timetable specifies measures to meet the requirements of climate protection. In the next three years, for example, the abandonment of toxic heavy fuel oil, the development of an individual climate strategy and the use of shore power must be implemented. The first emission-free ship must go into operation by 2030 and a zero-emission standard must apply to all new buildings. The retrofitting of the existing fleet with appropriate technologies must also be pushed ahead. That leaves 20 years to be able to drive completely emission-free by the middle of the century.
The port cities would also benefit from all these steps, because shore power, for example, enables the use of renewable energies to operate ships in port. But the provision of the infrastructure in the ports alone is not enough for this. The shipowners have to show that they mean business by retrofitting their ships with the appropriate connections and undertaking to buy the green electricity. An EU-wide shore power obligation would drive the development that is absolutely necessary and give port cities security for the investments to be made.