MSC Cruises has announced a plan to make its marine operations entirely carbon-neutral, with all CO2 emissions from across its fleet to be offset as of January 1, 2020. The cruise line made the announcement during an event celebrating the coming into service of its newest cruise ship, the MSC Grandiosa.
MSC Cruises said that it will offset all direct carbon dioxide emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects by 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 the company.
In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises said it will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.
MSC Cruises said that its commitment to delivering zero-emissions operations also includes a specific focus on energy efficiency and other aspects of its end-to-end operations beyond emissions. In particular, since 2017 all MSC Cruises new ships come equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities, a feature that would allow cruise ships to stop emitting any emissions in any port that is ready for this technology. Additionally, ship-to-shore power will provide an even greater overall benefit when the ultimate source of shore power is renewable, the cruise line said.
MSC Cruises officially accepted delivery of the MSC Grandiosa last week. That same day, the company announced a number of new environmentally friendly features for its first World Class ship, the MSC Europa, including a pilot program for a new fuel cell technology.