Trade body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and ship-building group SEA Europe have called for the EU to include the maritime technology industry in its Green Deal Industrial Plan (GDIP) for reduced emissions.
Announced by the European Commission today, The GDIP does not currently recognise the industry’s central role in innovating towards net-zero, according to both bodies. It therefore isn’t able to apply for funding for key areas, such as researching the use of alternative fuels, or for new propulsion solutions.
As part of its Green Deal Industrial Plan, Brussels is aiming for Europe to be the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050, with emissions cut by 55% by 2030. It has four key pillars: the regulatory environment, financing, skills and trade.
CLIA and SEA Europe say achieving these targets will require significant investment in clean technology and new vessels.
Cruise ship building represents around 80% of the order books in European shipyards. The 78 currently on order represent a €45 billion/US$48bn investment in Europe.
‘93%’ of world’s cruise ships built in Europe
“The shipbuilding industry is at the heart of clean-tech and industrial innovation in Europe and, as such, needs to be recognised and included in the Commission’s strategy,” said Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General, Europe, CLIA.
“Today, more than 93% of the world’s ocean-going cruise ships are built in Europe. Cruise lines are making significant investments now in partnership with European shipyards and equipment manufacturers equipping ships with latest technologies including fuel cells, batteries, and new propulsion solutions, driving the innovation that will deliver net zero emission shipping.”
Christophe Tytgat, Secretary General, SEA Europe, added: “Europe’s maritime technology industry is a strategic key enabler of the EU’s political ambitions in terms of defence, European Green Deal, EU Digital Agenda, Blue Economy.
“Including this industry in the Green Deal Industrial Plan for clean tech and industrial innovation on the road to net zero will have many benefits, not only for the industry’s global competitiveness but also for Europe’s maritime resilience and strategic maritime autonomy.”
Earlier this year Tallink reported an 84% hike in passenger numbers, underscoring the European cruise industry’s post-pandemic recovery.