From Iceland — Cruise Ship Emissions At Reykjavík Harbour Already Very High, And Increasing

Cruise Ship Emissions At Reykjavík Harbour Already Very High, And Increasing

Published November 25, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Creative Commons

Cruise ships visiting Reykjavík harbour produce more emissions than the entire fleet of year-round fishing ships at the same ports, Stundin reports, and these emissions levels are not expected to reduce any time soon.

This information and more was brought to light by a response from Faxaflói Harbour Administration to a formal question posed to them by Vigdís Hauksdóttir, a Reykavík City councilperson for the Centre Party. According to the authority’s data, cruise ships in Reykjavík harbour released 14,300 tonnes of emissions, up 50% from 2016.

By comparison, the entirety of the fishing ship fleet in the same harbour emits some 10,200 tonnes, while domestic flights released 23,000 tonnes of emissions in 2017.

The last time an emission assessments was made, in 2014, it came to light that part of the reason for the high levels of emissions is that when a cruise ship docks in harbour, it leaves its generators running continuously. In a single 24-hour period, one cruise ship burns enough oil to equal the pollution from 10,000 cars.

These emissions could be drastically reduced if large power cables at the harbour were to provide electricity to the ships, but Reykjavík harbour is not equipped in this manner for these cruise ships, leaving them to burn fuel around the clock.

The number of cruise ships to Reykjavík is expected to increase significantly as well. Whereas last year, some 167 such ships came to Iceland, this year Reykjavík harbour is preparing for a total of 194.

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