Carnival Corporation today announced it is on pace to achieve an overall 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity on a lower berth capacity basis in 2024 (compared to 2019) – just a few points shy of its 20 percent reduction goal originally targeted for 2030, according to a company statement.
By year end, the company expects to have reduced its GHG emission intensity by an impressive 42 percent on a lower berth capacity basis since its first benchmark in 2008. The company also expects this performance to put it ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2030 carbon intensity reduction timeline.
This announcement follows the company’s decision last year to accelerate its stated 2030 GHG intensity reduction goal by four years, committing to at least a 20 percent cut on a lower berth capacity basis by 2026 (versus 2019 levels).
Carnival Corporation said it is producing over 10 percent less total GHG emissions today than its peak historical year (2011), despite increasing capacity by roughly 30 percent since that time.
How It’s Being Done
First, the company recognizes that using less fuel is the fastest way to reduce GHG emissions and make a tangible impact. Since cruise ships generate their electricity from fuel, Carnival Corporation set out to uncover every area where energy can be saved and cut the amount of fuel used. As a result, the company has implemented several fuel- and energy-saving innovations and continues to invest in improvements to drive further reductions.
- Upgrading the fleet with innovative technology packages, including modern and efficient HVAC systems, state-of-the-art LED and smart lighting technologies, remote monitoring improvements and more to reduce fuel usage by 5-10% per ship.
- Optimizing hull design and special coatings to minimize drag for greater fuel efficiency.
- Developing more energy-efficient itineraries, fine-tuning hydrodynamics, and using ocean currents and techniques such as weather routing and speed reduction where possible.
- Using shoreside electric power capabilities when available in port – over 60% of the company’s ships are equipped to switch off their engines and “plug in” to local power grids while docked to reduce emissions and noise in port.
- Installing Air Lubrication Systems (ALS) to help ships glide on a cushion of air bubbles with less friction, reducing fuel use for propulsion by up to 5%.
At the same time, lacking zero-emission fuels broadly available to the maritime industry and with fossil fuels as the only viable option at scale today, Carnival Corporation has continued to look for ways to lower GHG and other emissions from the fuel already used while also pioneering lower-emission alternatives and actively exploring new technologies to power its ships. This includes:
Leading the industry with nine Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-capable ships in service and two more on order. The company said that this is delivering immediate GHG reductions, reducing direct carbon emissions by up to 20%, almost eliminating sulfur dioxides and significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
Improving air emissions with Advanced Air Quality Systems to “scrub” particulate matter and other compounds from ships’ exhaust.
Trialing advanced fuel technologies, including a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery storage system, testing fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol and leading the industry in piloting biofuels as a fossil fuel replacement.