CruiseThe Cruise Sustainability Council aims to reduce negative environmental and social impacts of cruise tourism and enhance transparency.

Barcelona's Cruise Sustainability Council sets course for a greener future

Barcelona's Cruise Sustainability Council already has 50 sustainable strategies already underway or set to start soon.
Barcelona's Cruise Sustainability Council already has 50 sustainable strategies already underway or set to start soon. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/caftor

Barcelona is ramping up its sustainability efforts in the cruise industry through several initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and improving the impact of tourism on the city.

In addition to a new cruise pollution tax, the Port of Barcelona has established a Cruise Sustainability Council to manage and improve the impact of cruise tourism in the Catalan capital.

The Cruise Sustainability Council includes representatives from Barcelona City Council, the Catalan government, Provincial Council of Barcelona, Delegation of the Central Government in Catalonia, port community, Air Routes Development Committee, economic and social entities, and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Additionally, the council aims to enhance transparency and communication of cruise activity, coordinate initiatives launched by different institutions, reduce negative environmental and social impacts, increase social and economic returns, and strengthen the connection of cruise companies with the city's business, training, and employment sectors.

Work committees will focus on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, with 50 actions already underway or set to start soon. Social sustainability efforts include managing cruise passengers, reducing congestion in tourist areas, diversifying tourist assets, and creating local jobs.

Environmental sustainability efforts focus on reducing emissions, promoting low-emission ships, optimising water management, transforming waste into biogas, improving urban mobility, and working towards biodiversity.

Homeporting activities bring the greatest economic benefit, and the port plans to increase its turnaround business. The Cruise Sustainability Council will provide continuity to the agreement signed between the Port and Barcelona City Council in 2018, which outlines the reduction of the number of cruise terminals to seven by 2027 with an investment of €265 million (US$291 million) in public and private investment and new infrastructure along Adossat wharf.

Additionally, the city has been considering providing electricity in ports since 2019 so cruise liners can turn off their engines while moored.

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