Barcelona to tax cruise passengers for pollution from ‘monster ships’

Barcelona to tax cruise passengers for pollution from 'monster ships'

Barcelona announces it will tax cruise passengers to help clear up toxic emissions from massive ships. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) — Cruise passengers in Barcelona will have to pay more tourist taxes to fight pollution caused by massive ships docking in the Spanish port city.

The Catalan government that oversees Barcelona has not yet announced how much the new tax will cost.

“We expect to be able to present, in the coming weeks, the government’s proposal to regulate emissions in the port areas of Catalonia, and we will be delighted to be able to share with Barcelona town hall the work carried out and the formula for this tax,” said Teresa Jordan, the Catalonian minister for climate action.

The new tax will be added to the Catalonia government’s existing tourist tax for Barcelona’s cruise passengers, which is 3 euros for a stay of more than 12 hours, 1 euro for less than 12 hours and a daily surcharge of 1.75 euros.

Barcelona is Europe’s busiest cruise port with more than 10,000 passengers disembarking daily during the high season of 2019. While those numbers dropped during the pandemic, they are expected to surge again.

A 2019 Transport & Environment report detailed the impact of massive cruise ships and the effects they are having on ports bordering the Mediterranean. The report found toxic sulphur emissions from the ships that run on heavy crude oil is far worse than emissions from road vehicles.

The report also found Barcelona suffered more air pollution from cruise ships than any other port in Europe with 32.8 metric tons, or 72,311 pounds, of sulphur oxide emitted in 2017.

“The enormity of the problem caused by monster ships is finally starting to be realized,” said Fair Abbasov, director at Transport & Environment.

“Luxury cruise ships are floating cities powered by some of the dirtiest fuel possible. Cities are rightly banning dirty diesel cars but they’re giving a free pass to cruise companies that spew out toxic fumes that do immeasurable harm to those both on board and on nearby shores.”

Barcelona is not the only city fighting the impact of large cruise ships. Italy banned cruise ships from docking in Venice last year to prevent the city from sinking.

Previous articleCall for applications: ICLEI Action Fund will grant €7M for data-driven projects
Next articleVCO Grand Slam: Mahle Racing Team and Williams Esports win the iRacing Watkins Glen 6h