In a cruise industry first, MSC Cruises has announced plans to become the world’s first carbon neutral cruise line by 2020.
The Italian cruise giant already operates one of the youngest cruise fleets in the world, it’s first newbuilds having only been delivered in 2003, and is pursuing a range of established and experimental technologies for the reduction of emissions and environmental protection.
These include the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project that will be hosted onboard MSC Europa, the cruise line’s first World-class cruise ship, which began construction last week.
“As we recognise that today’s even 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 January 1, 2020,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises.
“Our focus on innovation, since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003, ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing,” he added.
“And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29 percent reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, on our way to meet the 40 percent reduction target set for 2030,” he said.
MSC Cruises will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions.
All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by MSC. The cruise line aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects that protect and restore ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs.
Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 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 UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
MSC Europe, the first of the cruise line’s 200,000-plus gross ton mega-ships, will enter service with the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project, a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations.
She is the first of a planned five World-class cruise ships.
“This is 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.
Categories: Cruise Industry