Coalition Urges Carnival to Stop Using HFO on Cruise Ships in Arctic

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

An international coalition of environmental groups has joined together to call on Carnival Corporation to stop using heavy fuel oil on ships traveling in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, Transport and Environment (T&E) said. 

The cruise ship giant has been urged to end the use of one of the world’s cheapest and dirtiest fossil fuels as Carnival Corporation’s first ships of the season arrive in the Arctic.

The cruise ship MS Rotterdam has just arrived in the Arctic. With cruises in these fragile ecosystems scheduled to grow, they must change their fuel source in order to prevent destroying the very climate they are going to see, according to T&E.

“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,” Karen Mahon, Strategy Director,, commented.

“Cruise ship companies should not be using one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet which threatens the Arctic marine environment and the Indigenous Peoples that depend on it for their very way of life,” Jim Gamble, Senior Arctic Program Officer, Pacific Environment, said.

When burned, HFO releases greenhouse gases and other dangerous pollutants like sulfur dioxide and soot (or black carbon). In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, this soot settles on sea ice, rapidly accelerating its melting.

The coalition is calling on the cruise company to switch all ships in Carnival fleets to low-sulfur diesel fuel, and end the use and carriage as of all heavy fuel oil and heavy fuel oil blends in Canada, Alaska, and Arctic routes. In addition, the company has been asked to reduce black carbon pollution on all ships in Carnival fleets by installing diesel particulate filters and take the lead in developing and implementing clean shipping technologies that help power cruise ships without fossil fuels completely.

The petition is at and will be delivered to Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at the company’s headquarters.

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