Seafaring folk and coastal dwellers in Cornwall carried out a demonstration against polluting cruise shipping in Falmouth Harbour this week.
The action was a precursor to the official launch of Ocean Rebellion, on the 19th of August and featured over 40 protestors who took to the water with flags and banners.
Demonstrators then projected films and slogans onto the hull of the ship, including Fuck This Ship, Sort your Ship out! and Turn The Tide, to raise awareness of the environmental impact of cruise shipping.
The grassroots activist group calling itself Ocean Rebellion, has pledged an escalation of activities throughout the world to protect our common ocean heritage.
A spokesperson for the group says: ‘The fuel this ship burns is 100 times more polluting than the fuel we allow on roads. This is having a huge environmental impact not just on the oceans and their ecosystems but on air quality in the coastal communities visited by these ships. Each apartment on this cruise ship has a hundred times more emissions than the average European land based equivalent. That’s 380,309kg CO2 per year – that’s the weight of a Boeing 747 airplane’
A concerned local resident said ‘even during the hottest days of lockdown the ship was pumping out tonnes of smoke into the local atmosphere. You could see it black in the sky and smell it in the air’
When idling in port this ship produces more sulphur pollution than 1,200,000 cars or 30,000 trucks.
(using IMO 3rd GHG figures for MDO in 2012 page 253, and car emissions data values from Transport Environment .
In terms of climate pollution this ship idling in port produces daily the equivalent of 226 trucks daily emissions (source: EU MRV data from MV the world, assumption on annual truck mileage of 100,000 miles consuming 30 L diesel per mile)
The ocean is like the human heart, pumping oxygen and life around the body of our planet, providing half of the oxygen we breathe, cycling fresh water, providing nutrients and controlling our weather systems.
The ocean stands between us and the worst impacts of climate breakdown, yet it is under serious threat from climate breakdown. For the ocean, some of the most serious impacts are: sea surface warming, ocean heating, deoxygenation, acidification.
Luxury cruise ships emit 10 times more air pollution than all of Europe’s cars (Transport & environment, 2019)
The shipping industry, including the luxury cruise industry, pays no fuel tax and offshoring and use of flags of convenience ensures few other taxes are paid therefore it is almost entirely tax exempt.
Shipping contributes significantly to air pollution with sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) contributing 9% and 18-30% respectively to global air pollution and leading to human and environmental health problems such as respiratory & heart disease, eutrophication & nitrification