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MSC aims to be 1st major ‘carbon neutral’ cruise operator

PortandTerminal.com, November 9, 2019

Starting on January 1, 2020, MSC Cruises will buy enough credits from companies that absorb carbon dioxide to offset all of the carbon emissions from its 17 ships throughout the year, the company announced Friday

LOS ANGELES, CA – MSC Cruises announced Friday that the company will be carbon neutral by January 2020 as it prepares to launch its new ship, MSC Grandiosa, billed as the cruise line’s most environmentally advanced ship yet. 

MSC claims it will be the first global cruise line with carbon-neutral marine operations.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman

The announcement Friday in Hamburg comes amid criticism from environmental campaigners that the cruise industry isn’t doing enough to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming. Other industries, such as aviation, are also increasingly promoting carbon offsetting to balance their emissions.

“The goal is that one day to arrive at zero emissions altogether (from the source),” Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman said during an interview.

However, the technology to produce zero carbon emissions, at source, does not yet exist, so MSC is finding another way to give back to the planet.

“The goal is that one day to arrive at zero emissions altogether”

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman

“We will work with leading providers in carbon offsets 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 (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals,” said Vago in a release.

The cruise line wants to reduce emissions to the point of producing none using new technology, which the company is investing in, but in the meantime, it will finance projects that offset carbon emissions — for example, programs that protect forests or reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through algae. The line is also buying blue carbon credits, which support coastal habitats. 

The Geneva-based company is one of the world’s biggest cruise operators, with plans to expand its fleet to 25 ships by 202.

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