The cruise industry has pledged a 40% per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

It represents a “strong first step” towards the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s vision of a carbon-free shipping industry by the end of the century, says Arnold Donald, global chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and chief executive of industry giant Carnival Corporation.

CLIA says the 40% cut stems from a “collaborative process designed to build concensus among cruise line leadership.”

It also marks the first such initiative within the shipping industry, says CLIA. Member cruise lines already have programmes in place to reduce waste and protect the oceans.

The announcement coincides with delivery by Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard last week of the 183,000-gt AIDAnova, the world’s first LNG-powered cruiseship.

Meyer Werft says emissions produced by AIDAnova will be cut “drastically” by using LNG.Owner Aida Cruises receives further LNG-fuelled vessels in 2021 and 2023.

Overall , 25 LNG-fuelled cruiseships could be operating by 2025, says CLIA.

The carbon cruise concensus chimes with the IMO’s ambition to reduce C02 emissions for international shipping by an average of 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050, compared to the baseline year of 2008.

CLIA says emission rates will in future be measured based on the cruise industry fleet’s total carbon output, total ship berths and total distance travelled.

Last year, the cruise industry carried 27.6 million passengers and reservations in 2019 are set to reach 30 million, according to CLIA.

The organisation comprises more than 50 member companies representing 95 per cent of global cruise capacity.