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CLIA and SEA Europe call on EU to include cruise ship building in Net Zero Industry Act

The declaration calls for the expansion of support and incentives for retrofit programmes and deployment of renewable energy for maritime
Cruise Lines International Association and SEA Europe announced a joint declaration calling for the European Union to include cruise ship building and maritime technology in the Net Zero Industry Act.

The joint declaration was announced at CLIA’s 2023 European Summit in Paris March 8-10. 

What it means for shipbuilding 

It calls for faster access to funding for sustainable shipbuilding and maritime equipment manufacturing to support Europe’s position in the sector, plus the expansion of support and incentives for retrofit programmes and deployment of renewable energy for maritime. It also calls for a dedicated maritime programme as part of the EU Pact for Skills so that digital, green, and technical skills stay in Europe, and asks that maritime is placed at the heart of the EU digital strategy to enable knowledge-share of the sector’s advanced digitalisation practices.

‘Cruise lines don’t just provide one of the most popular holiday options for consumers today, but they are also already partnering with shipyards and maritime technology providers to achieve net zero cruising by 2050,’ Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA global chair and executive chairman of MSC Cruises, said as he launched the declaration.

‘Pilot projects are underway to test new fuels and propulsion solutions such as batteries, fuel cell technology, advanced biofuels, and synthetic fuels. It is now time for European policy makers and governments to partner with the maritime technology sector. Europe has an opportunity to lead the way in technology development and maritime excellence for the benefit of future generations.’ 

Some 93% of the world’s oceangoing cruise ships are built in Europe, and cruise ship building represents around 80% of the order book of shipyards.  With 62 cruise ships on order for the next five years, this represents more than €40b direct investment in Europe.

Cruise industry generates billions in Europe

According to new CLIA data released during the Summit, the cruise sector generated €41b economic impact in Europe during 2021 despite drastically reduced passenger volumes due to pandemic restrictions. The sector also supported 315,000 jobs in Europe during that time.

‘The building of cruise ships and the integration of advanced equipment and technology onboard such ships is very complex and illustrates the maritime industrial capabilities and know-how of Europe’s shipyards and maritime equipment industry,’ said René Berkvens, chairman, SEA Europe. 

‘These capabilities and know-how will not only be crucial to achieve the European Green Deal objectives but also to enable Europe to meet other political objectives such as in terms of defence, blue economy, or energy transition, as well as to safeguard Europe’s maritime strategic autonomy.’