MedCruise statement to the Transport & Environment report on Cruise Ship Air Emissions
MedCruise, the Association of the Mediterranean Cruise Ports, strongly refutes the conclusions from the report published recently by Transport & Environment (June 2019) as well as the findings of the publication, which are based on an in-house analysis using highly questionable methodology with estimated data on cruise ships emissions.
For instance, the figures arrived at in this report do not reconcile with calculations using actual fuel data and emissions from cruise ships, as well as data independently collected and verified by the ports themselves.
As such, it is clear that this study lacks the rigor required by scientifically valid research. It is unfortunate to see such irresponsibility from an organization, which clearly has an agenda to create “noise” without legitimate and transparent science to support its claims.
The MedCruise Association, representing more than 130 ports from the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea and Near Atlantic as well as 31 Associate Members such as tourist boards, municipalities, cruise terminal operators, tour operators and ship agents, is very concerned about environmental issues and sustainability, and cooperates with the European Commission in different forums and workshops composed by industry experts.
For instance, MedCruise is a member of the European Sustainability Shipping Forum and the European Ports Forum -including the Sub-group on Sustainable Ports- as well as cooperating with the European Maritime Safety Agency and the Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security, among others.
The MedCruise Association has its own Working Group on Sustainability to analyse the investments made by our members on LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) and Shore Side Electricity (SSE) facilities, where experts from the Association gather together to provide recommendations based on facts, such as the 100% LNG powered cruise ships already sailing the Western Mediterranean, which means no Sulphur neither PM emissions in cruise ports.
Moreover, MedCruise and its members are very committed with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) new regulations on Sulphur emissions, which will enter in force on January 1st, 2020, and the reduction of the total annual greenhouse gases emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.
The cruise industry is leading the environmental race among the maritime transport sector, even though representing only the 2% of the emissions of the total shipping industry, and investing a large amount of resources on greener cruise ships, equipped with cutting edge technology and Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, Sulphur and particulate matters.
In fact, cruise ships meet and more often exceed current emissions requirements through the use of AAQS and new LNG vessels. In addition, the cruise industry has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions rate by 40% by 2030, in line with IMO aspirations and is actively working to develop solutions for further improving its emissions profile.
MedCruise President, Airam Diaz Pastor, highlighted “the great work being carried out by our members in promoting the sustainable growth of cruise activities and working towards a greener industry cannot be called into doubt by non-reviewed reports, plenty of bias and assumptions.”
In conclusion, the Association fully supports and welcomes any initiative and recommendation on sustainability, such as the creation of new ECA zones, SSE tax exemptions and actions towards a zero-emission industry, as long as the data and methodology used to reach the conclusions are accepted by the scientific community. However, MedCruise is concerned about the methodology and results of the report published by Transport & Environment without academic review and based on assumptions instead of facts.