Carnival’s 2030 Emission Reduction Goals Within Reach

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Carnival Corporation is on track to achieve the 2030 emission reduction goals long before the target date. The cruise company announced today, February 6, 2024, that it expects to achieve 90% of the target 20% reduction goal in 2024. 

Carnival is actively working to lower its ships’ emissions by adopting strategies that decrease energy consumption onboard, reduce fuel consumption, advance emission-reducing technologies, and incorporate lower-emission fuels throughout its fleet.

Carnival Announces Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projections

In 2023, Carnival Corporation announced it would be accelerating its greenhouse gas reduction goal of 20% reduction by four years from 2030 to 2026. Today, February 6, 2024, the cruise company announced it expects to achieve an 18% reduction in emission intensity in 2024, bringing the targets into reach far earlier than initially expected. 

Carnival Corporation is the world’s largest cruise operator, with nine cruise lines under its wings, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Seabourn, P&O UK, P&O Australia, and Cunard Line. Together, the cruise lines operate 93 cruise ships. Achieving a 20% reduction in emissions fleet-wide signifies a substantially reduced environmental footprint.

The 20% reduction goal is measured on a lower berth capacity basis compared to the measured output in 2019. Incredibly, Carnival Corporation expects to achieve a 42% reduction in emission intensity compared to 2008. In the context of Carnival Corporation’s measurements, emission intensity is measured as the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (such as CO2) per lower berth in the fleet.

Carnival Cruise Line Miami Office
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

The results put Carnival Corporation ahead of the 2030 targets as set out by the International Maritime Organization. These targets call for a 40% reduction compared to 2008 by 2030, and a 50% reduction by 2050. On top of that, the cruise industry has set itself the goal of becoming net carbon neutral by 2050.

Scrapping Older Ships Just One Part of the Solution

Carnival sold or scrapped 24 older cruise ships between the onset of the pandemic and 2024, which accounts for at least some part of the reduction in emissions. However, the cruise company increased its total capacity by 30% by introducing newer, cleaner cruise ships

The cruise ships that Carnival operates today are producing 10+% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2011, when the largest amount of emissions was recorded. 

Building cleaner ships and disposing of older more polluting cruise ships is just a small part of a sustainability program that has far-reaching implications. 

First of all, using less fuel is a big part of reducing emissions, which Carnival is taking to a whole new level. Ships have been outfitted with efficient HVAC systems, LED and smart lighting technologies, remote monitoring, and shore power capabilities. This has led to an overall reduction in fuel usage of 5-10% per ship.

Cruise Ship Graveyard

Innovative hull designs and advanced coatings are employed to minimize resistance as ships navigate through water, contributing significantly to energy efficiency. Additionally, optimizing travel routes for energy conservation, refining the ships’ hydrodynamics for better water flow, and leveraging ocean currents all play a role in reducing fuel consumption. 

The introduction of Air Lubrication Systems (ALS) marks a further advancement in this area. ALS technology creates a layer of air bubbles beneath the hull, effectively reducing friction between the ship and water. These innovations can lead to a further 5% reduction in the fuel needed for propulsion.

The Search For New Fuel Technology

While reducing the fuel needed for propulsion is a major step forward, the ships still rely on fossil fuels. As zero-emission fuels are not yet widely available for maritime use, Carnival has implemented several methods to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions from the fuels it currently utilizes. 

Carnival was the first cruise company to use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with nine LNG cruise ships in service and two vessels on order. In addition to adopting LNG, Carnival Corporation uses Advanced Air Quality Systems, more commonly known as scrubbers, which remove pollutants from ship exhaust fumes.

The exploration of advanced fuel technologies is another area where Carnival Corporation is showing promising results. The Miami-based company is conducting trials with a pioneering lithium-ion battery storage system, testing fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol, and trialing biofuels as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

Carnival Corporation’s efforts show the progress in environmental responsibility within the cruise industry. However, while it’s vital to recognize these advancements, the industry as a whole still faces a long journey toward true environmental sustainability.

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