Ocean-going cruise lines are making “substantial progress” towards their collective goal of net carbon neutral cruising by 2050, according to a new report from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Produced by Oxford Economics, the CLIA Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Inventory and associated Environmental commitment, innovation, and results of the cruise industry report illustrates that CLIA’s ocean cruise line members are developing and implementing multiple new technologies and fuels to achieve this target.
Since 2020, there has been a 2.3 per cent rise in the number of ocean cruise ships that have been equipped with shore power capacity (now accounting for 35 per cent of the global fleet). Plus, 82 per cent of new cruise ships will either be fitted with shore power capacity when they launch or will be configured so cruise lines can add the functionality in future.
The report also showed that just over half (52 per cent) of the global newbuild capacity will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion, a three per cent increase in overall capacity compared to 2020.
Meanwhile, more than 76 per cent of the global ocean-going fleet now uses exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, a seven per cent growth from 2020. The report also indicated that 94 per cent of the non-LNG-powered newbuilds will have EGCS.
In addition, 74 per cent of CLIA’s ocean-going cruise line fleet capacity has been equipped with advanced wastewater treatment systems (AWTS), which is an increase of four per cent since 2020. Almost 20 per cent of these vessels have AWTS that are able to meet the nitrogen and phosphorous discharge standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) MARPOL Annex IV Baltic Sea Special Area. All of the newbuilds on order will be fitted with AWTS.
“While cruise has been one of the sectors most acutely impacted by the global pandemic, cruise lines remain at the forefront of the challenge to develop new environmental technologies which benefit the entire shipping industry,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “Our industry is committed to pursuing net carbon neutral cruising by 2050, and CLIA and our ocean-going members are investing in new technologies and cleaner fuels now to realise this ambition.”
For the first time, CLIA’s report also addresses the challenges related to identifying, developing and implementing alternative fuels. In addition to LNG, over 75 per cent of the global cruise fleet by passenger capacity is now equipped to use alternative fuels. Some of the options being developed include biodiesel, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen and electric batteries.
However, the report also highlights that the cruise industry must still overcome several engineering, supply and regulatory hurdles before it can achieve large-scale adoption of these fuels.
“This report shows that the cruise industry is resilient, innovative and focused on the future,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of CLIA Global. “We know that there is more to be done but the cruise industry has shown both its commitment and its capability to rise to the challenge. The cruise industry is an enabler of green maritime innovation, which will be the key to decarbonisation of shipping. This is why CLIA has joined other maritime organisations to propose a $5 billion IMO research and development fund to accelerate the development of zero GHG fuels and propulsion technologies.”