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“Heavy oil dominates cruise propulsion technology”

Berlin - Nabu, one of the oldest environmental associations in Germany, has presented its cruise ship ranking 2019

Berlin - Nabu, one of the oldest environmental associations in Germany, has presented its cruise ship ranking 2019. The findings of this year’s evaluation demonstrate that only a small proportion of fleets is becoming cleaner, while the industry by large continues to rely on heavy fuels and fails to employ exhaust technology.

Climate footprint of cruise ships is especially worrying. All ships, says a statement, are fuelled by fossil fuels producing enormous greenhouse gas emissions. Two sailing ships alone are scoring better, but they do not represent a commonplace type of ship.

“The cruise ship industry’s failure to embrace climate protection is a slap in the face of our youth,” commented Leif Miller, Nabu’s ceo. “Nobody can pretend to be unaware of today’s climate crisis - it is our joint responsibility to act now. Nevertheless, suppliers flood the market with more giant vessels every year, all being operated by fossil fuels. That’s not keeping up with the times and it is irresponsible, too. Cruise ships can only have a future if they use zero-emission technologies.”

According to Nabu, heavy fuel operated diesel engines still dominate the scene. Recently more and more cruise ships started to include LNG engines, but LNG is still entirely a fossil fuel and its extraction process is in part heavily damaging to the environment. In addition, one has to take into account the so-called methane slip, by which the highly potent greenhouse gas methane is emitted into the atmosphere. While gas powered engines hence do emit less air pollutants in comparison to marine diesel and heavy fuels, they are not performing better in terms of the fleet’s climate footprint.

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