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Cruise ship passengers in Barcelona will now have to pay more in tourist taxes to fight Pollution from the massive ships.
Source: Second Thought/Youtube
The Catalan government announced that they will raise the price of the tourist tax, but it is still unknown how much this will go up. The current tourist tax for Barcelona cruise passengers is just 2 euros for a stay of fewer than 12 hours, 3 euros for a stay of more than 12 hours, and a daily surcharge of 1.75 euros.
“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.
According to the International Maritime Organization, ships release 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every single year. Experts say that nearly 3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from shipping worldwide, but that number could reach 177 percent or more by 2050 as global trade continues to expand.
Barcelona is the busiest cruise port in Europe and had more than 10,000 passengers disembarking daily during the high season of 2019. According to a 2019 report, massive cruise ships that run on heavy crude oil were emitting toxic sulfur that was far worse than the emissions from road vehicles. The report said that Barcelona had more air Pollution from cruise ships than any other port in Europe, with 32.8 metric tons, or 72,311 pounds, of sulfur oxide emitted in 2017.
Many cities are working to ban or regulate cruise ships to fight Pollution. California began regulating oceangoing vessels in 2007 when they started requiring ships to connect to shore power. The California Air Resources Board also set the first zero-emission standard for ferries and mandated cleaner engine upgrades for tugboats and other vessels. The state also ordered ships that come to its ports to switch to low-sulfur fuel.
According to Southern California air regulators, ship traffic is expected to be the top source of smog-causing pollutants by 2028. However, because of the catch-up from the post-pandemic, the massive port congestion could cause this to happen as early as 2024. We hope that other popular cruise ship docking ports will work towards regulations for cruise ships.
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