Green Coalition Calls on Carnival Corp. to Stop Use of Heavy Fuel Oil in the Arctic

Photo: kkaplin / Shutterstock

A coalition of environmental groups is calling on Carnival Corporation to stop its use of heavy fuel oil on its ships operating in the Arctic just as the Arctic cruise season kicks off up north. 

The coalition, led by Transport & Environment in Europe, and Stand.earth and Pacific Environment and Friends of the Earth in the United States, launched this week a global campaign called ‘Clean Up Carnival’ aimed at stepping up pressure on the world’s largest cruise company to the ditch world’s cheapest, dirtiest fossil fuel in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.

The coalition urges Carnival to switch all ships in its fleets to low-sulfur diesel fuel, and immediately end the use and carriage as fuel of all heavy fuel oil and heavy fuel oil blends in Canada, Alaska, and Arctic routes.

The launch comes just as Carnival Corporation’s first ships are arriving in the Arctic for start of the 2018 summer cruise season, the coalition says. The MS Rotterdam, operated by Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival, recently completed its first voyages of the year to Iceland and Greenland.

“Not only does Carnival’s use of heavy fuel oil increase global climate change — the risk of an oil spill poses a major threat to Arctic wildlife and coastal communities. Worse still: HFO is virtually impossible to clean up, particularly in cold and remote Arctic waters. It’s time for Carnival to move past meaningless talk of its climate values and actually end its reliance on the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel,” said Karen Mahon, Strategy Director for Stand.earth.

In addition to stopping use and carriage of HFO, the coalition calls on Carnival to reduce carbon pollution on all its ships by installing so-called “scrubbers” as well as take the lead in developing and implementing clean shipping technologies that help power cruise ships without fossil fuels completely.

The coalition has set up a petition at cleanupcarnival.com and plans to deliver it to Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at the company’s headquarters.