This European Cruise Line Is Pledging To Be Carbon Neutral By 2020; Critics Are Skeptical

MSC Cruises said it would buy enough credits in the carbon-offset market to make it’s marine operations carbon neutral starting in 2020. The announcement by the cruise line was made in Hamburg at the christening ceremony for its latest ship, MSC Grandiosa. 

The new ship features hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, a ballast water treatment system to prevent introducing invading species, and includes energy-efficient LED lighting. The announcement also comes as MCS Cruises promotes bookings for its around-the-world cruises, which will sail from four European embarkation ports in January 2022. 

Even though MSC has not given a figure on how much C02 its ships produce, not how much it would cost to offset the emissions, Cruise Ships produce a total of 21.2 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, according to a report by Institute for Tourism at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago said 

“The goal is that one day to arrive at zero emissions altogether. We will work with leading providers in carbon offset able to offset C02 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”.

With the cruise line wanting to reduce emissions to the point of producing none using new technology, MSC is ready to cover all costs for the offsets as well as any other associated costs related to C02 emissions. Carnival Corp. accounting for about 10.69 million tons of C02 and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for 4.23 million tons, Griffith university estimates that MSC accounts for a total of 6.27 million tons. 

Cruise lines in total now account for 0.2 per cent of global C02 emission all sourced from combustion of fossil fuels and cement production. With MSC Cruises buying these blue carbon credits, critics have accused such companies of “greenwashing” the general ethos related to suitability and environmental action, often “not living up to what they promise”.


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