Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, has announced the creation of its long-term climate action strategy and goal to reach carbon neutrality through reducing carbon intensity, identifying and investing in technology (including exploring alternative fuels) and implementing a voluntary carbon offset program. In addition to ongoing initiatives to reduce its emissions rate, the company has committed to offset three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over a three-year period beginning in 2021 to help bridge the gap in its decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available.
As part of the company’s global sustainability program, “Sail & Sustain,” combating climate change is a material focus; NCLH previously signed the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) commitment to reduce the carbon emissions rate industry-wide by 40 percent by 2030 from a 2008 baseline.
The three focus areas of NCLH’s long-term climate action strategy include:
- Reduce Carbon Intensity. Ongoing investments in systems and technologies have resulted in a reduction of fuel consumption per capacity day of approximately 17 percent from 2008 to 2019 for the entire 28-ship fleet. In addition, the company achieved an estimated approximately 14 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per capacity day across its fleet between 2015 and 2019. As nine new and more fuel-efficient vessels are introduced to the fleet through 2027, this rate is expected to further decrease.
- Invest in Technology and Explore Alternative Fuels. NCLH has partnered with CLIA and other maritime organizations to propose the establishment of a collaborative shipping research and development fund dedicated to the ultimate goal of eliminating CO2 emissions from international shipping. If approved, funding would come from a contribution per metric ton of marine fuel purchased for consumption and is expected to amount to $5 billion over a 10-year period. These funds will be used to finance the development of zero and near-zero greenhouse gas fuels and propulsion technologies. As new alternative fuel sources become available at sufficient scale in the future, the company will evaluate how these can accelerate its long-term carbon reduction strategy.
- Implement Voluntary Carbon Offset Program. The company recently announced its commitment to purchase carbon credits to offset three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over a three-year period to help bridge the gap in decarbonization efforts until new technology becomes available. Offset purchases are expected to ramp up in future years to reach the goal of carbon neutrality.