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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
11/09/17 08:44

Cruise industry's innovative ideas against pollution

CLIA response to German environmental group: “Unsubstantiated claims based on misleading surveys, new generation ships are greener than the previous ones”

Operazioni di installazione degli scrubber sulla Grand Princess, lo scorso dicembre

Latest ranking of the most polluting cruise ships and consequent accusations published by German environmental group NABU (reported in Italy by Cittadini per l'Aria), drew an immediate and sharp response from CLIA - Cruise Lines International Association.

Taking for granted they share the same objectives for the abatement of gas emissions and the protection of the environment and holding back the claims about the lack of transparency by providing a link to “all activities undertaken by Clia members”, the industrial association outlined four major items.

CLIA complained that NABU's ranking failed to consider “any new technology approved and recognized by international regulations about gas emissions and alternative low-impact fuels, like LNG”, adding that all CLIA members are committed to comply with international rules.

According to the Association, the failure appeared from the different ranking of some ships in 2016 and 2017 lists, “despite no different equipment was installed on board.

The methodology used by the environmental group, besides showing no key, was misleading, according to a study carried out by APICE in different Mediterranean ports, all ships emissions represent only 5% of the fine particles  suspended in the air”.

The second complain relates to the scientifically unsubstantiated methodology used by NABU: “Based on a time-frame by using mobile devices exclusively designed for clean indoor environments, these measurements cannot be recognized as the ones made through an unmovable air quality station recording average measures in 24 hours. The results based on random measurements are unsubstantiated and don't follow any protocol”.

Furthermore CLIA underlined the commitment of its members: “Cruise ships represents less than 1% global shipping trade, however they have been the most innovative business sector for decades, particularly to respect the environment. By 2026, 87 new cruise ships will be propelled by low-impact fuels and at least 13 by LNG.

Although no filters exist for such big engines (as inaccurately demanded by NABU), cruise industry adopted different solutions” the installation of  exhaust gas cleaning systems, alternative fuels and new technologies.

Finally CLIA criticized the comparison between a cruise ship and private vehicles, considered unsubstantiated and misleading for the different scale of values: Technological level is different and the services provided on board (catering, accommodation and entertainment) are definitely not serving few people as private vehicles”.