cruise ship

CLIA: Over $23.5 billion invested in environmentally friendly cruise ships

The cruise industry has invested over $23.5 billion in ships with new energy-efficient technologies and cleaner fuels, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed in a new report.

Illustration. Image by Carnival Cruise Line

As informed, this is a $1.5 billion increase over the 2019 report findings.

While cruise ships comprise far less than 1 per cent of the global maritime community, the latest report produced by Oxford Economics, the 2020 Environmental Technologies and Practices Report, substantiates how cruise lines have taken a leadership role in the adoption of maritime technologies that benefit the entire shipping industry.

“Even as we have worked to address and overcome the impacts of COVID-19, the cruise industry remains committed to a cleaner, more sustainable future. With over $23 billion invested in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems and liquified natural gas, I can only imagine what we will accomplish together in the next ten years and beyond,” Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), commented.

“This report affirms our commitment to environmental sustainability and I commend our members for their continued leadership and demonstration of the highest standards of responsible tourism.”

Back in 2018, CLIA cruise lines were the first to publicly commit as a maritime sector, to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008.

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As noted in the report, CLIA oceangoing cruise line members continue to work to achieve ambitious goals like this and meet rising expectations.

Specifically, the 2020 report found that 49 per cent of newbuild capacity committed to rely on LNG for primary propulsion. This represents a 51 per cent increase in overall capacity compared to 2018. As disclosed, 25 LNG-powered cruise ships are currently on order or under construction.

What is more, over 69 per cent of global capacity utilizes exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, representing an increase in capacity of 25 per cent compared to 2018. Additionally, 96 per cent of non-LNG new builds will have EGCS installed, an increase in capacity of 21 per cent compared to 2019.

The report further shows that 99 per cent of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems — bringing global capacity to 78.5 per cent — and currently, 70 per cent of the CLIA oceangoing cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems. This represents an increase of 5 per cent over 2019.

When it comes to shore-side power capability, progress has been achieved as well. In port, cruise ships are increasingly equipped with the technology to allow delivery of shoreside electricity, thus allowing engines to be switched off, and there are many collaborations with ports and governments to increase the availability. 75 per cent of the new build capacity is either committed to be fitted with shore-side electricity systems or will be configured to add shore-side power in the future.

32 per cent of global capacity — up 13 per cent since 2019 — are fitted to operate on shore-side electricity in 14 ports worldwide where that capability is provided in at least one berth in the port.

The progress across these multiple areas is said to demonstrate CLIA’s view that it is integral, urgent, and feasible to balance fostering growth with policy and technology changes that help preserve the air and oceans in which the industry operates.

“The cruise industry works every day to advance its responsible tourism efforts and recognizes that continued and greater investment in research is critical to identifying and producing new fuels and propulsion systems,” Adam Goldstein, Chairman of CLIA Global, said.

“This is why CLIA along with other maritime sector partners have proposed to establish and fund a $5B Research and Development Board dedicated to working collaboratively across the sector to identify the technologies and energy sources that will provide additional opportunities to lessen our environmental footprint and meet the ambitious goals set by the IMO.”