Another European City Says No To Cruises, France Rings the Bell


  • The French Riviera city of Cannes, best known for the A-list film festival held there each year, is making moves to ban some cruise ships from its port.
  • The decision comes after the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, conducted a study on how cruise ships were affecting the local ecosystem.

Mediterranean resort town Cannes, France’s fourth-biggest cruise ship port, will ban the most polluting cruise ships from next year in a bid to boost air quality in the city, reports CNBC.

Imposing 0.1% Sulphur cap

The ban will target ships that do not respect a 0.1% cap on sulphur in their fuel and could stop some passengers from disembarking in the city famous for its film festival.

It’s not about being against cruise ships. It’s about being against pollution,” Cannes Mayor David Lisnard told Reuters Television in an interview.

Under the European Union’s clean air policy, the cap is already enforced in Baltic, North Sea and Channel ports and it may be extended to the Mediterranean.

Cruise ships run on fuel oil which contains about 2,000 times more sulphur oxide than ordinary diesel, according to German pollution analyst Axel Friedrich.

We will no longer accept cruise ship passengers coming from polluting cruise ships,” Lisnard said.

I propose that the Prime Minister provide the mayors of the coastal municipalities with police power to fight against marine pollution of ships,” Lisnard wrote in a tweet in June 2019, which linked to a larger proposal addressed to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Tremendous increase in cruise industry causing pollution

The exponential growth of the cruise ship industry is often criticised by residents of tourist towns but it is also increasingly considered a threat to the environment.

Three months ago, Italy’s main conservation group said Venice should be put on the United Nations’ list of endangered cities and cruise ships should be banned from its fragile lagoon to prevent an ecological disaster.

According to figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry’s main trade association, 30 million passengers are expected to cruise on almost 300 ships this year, up from 17.8 million 10 years ago.

Deal to make eco-friendly vessesls

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which accounts for about 40% of Cannes’ total cruise ship traffic, signed an agreement with the city pledging to make its ships more environmentally friendly.
  • Saint-Raphaël, another French port city located between Cannes and St-Tropez, is now enforcing a similar ruling. Ships that wish to dock there as of 2020 will be required to sign a similar agreement to reduce their emissions.

While the two French ports are citing environmental concerns regarding their cutbacks on cruise ships, other European cities are citing over-tourism as a reason to limit ship numbers.

  • The Greek island of Santorini, beloved for its striking blue-and-white architecture, has imposed a maximum of 8,000 cruise ship passengers per day. Erosion and overuse of water were among the reasons cited for the decision.
  • Earlier this year, the city of Venice, Italy, banned large cruise ships from its historic center.

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Source: CNBC, CNN


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