MSC Grandiosa is one of many MSC Cruises' ships to have ship-to-shore technology (Image: MSC Cruises)
MSC Cruises will offset all direct carbon dioxide emissions from its fleet operations through various projects from 1 January 2020, allowing it to become the first major carbon-neutral cruise operator in the world.
The cruise company plans to develop a carbon offset portfolio that includes projects focused on supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, benefiting local communities, and protecting and restoring the ocean and coastal habitats. All costs for the offsets and any associated items will be covered in full by MSC Cruises.
“As we recognise that today’s most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch.”
MSC Cruises will also support a ‘Blue Carbon’ project, which will be the first to generate carbon credits from the ocean.
“Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect,” said Vago. “We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”
Carbon offsetting is the latest in a long line of initiatives MSC Cruises has put in place to reduce the impact its ships have on the environment. For example, all vessels that have entered service since 2017 have been equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities to enable them to connect to shore power in any port that has the necessary technology. Such green technologies are expected to reduce fleet-wide carbon emissions by 29% by 2024 compared to 2008.
On 31 October, MSC Cruises also revealed that five LNG-powered cruise ships will join its fleet by 2027, including MSC Europa which will pilot the world’s first-ever LNG-powered fuel cell solution when she debuts in May 2022. Fincantieri has already cut the steel for MSC Europa.
“This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations, but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations,” said Vago.
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