Campaign against Carnival Cruise Lines Escalates

June 11, 2017

Climate Activists Protest At Seattle’s Cruise Ship Terminal

Seattle WA — Today at Seattle’s cruise ship terminal, climate activists exposed Carnival Corporation’s climate pollution with a colorful action. The action involved large banners that read “Clean Up Carnival” and activists dressed as dolphins and polar bears interacting with passengers. Spearheaded by Washington-based and Seattle 350, the action is part of the escalating campaign against Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world. The campaign challenges the company to protect the climate by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and its use of dirty fuels
Carnival’s climate pollution has increased 20% over the past decade because it powers its ships with the dirtiest fuel in the world, Heavy Fuel Oil. In 2015 alone, Carnival and its fleet of ships produced the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from driving almost 2.2 million cars for one year. On a per passenger basis, each Carnival passenger produces almost 2,111 pounds of CO2 per trip in 2015, or the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from driving a car 2,295 miles.
“While much of the world grapples with how to reduce climate pollution, Carnival continues to increase its climate footprint at a dizzying rate,” said Sean Rudolph of “Carnival’s disregard of the need for climate stability feels especially ironic given that Carnival ferries its passengers to iconic environmental wonders around the world, such as the Arctic, which are directly threatened by it’s irresponsible pollution.”
The shipping and cruise industry currently account for nearly 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions and is on track to increase emissions between 50 and 250 percent in the next 35 years, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Part of the reason for the industry’s massive climate pollution footprint is because most ships are powered by the dirtiest fuel in the world. This fuel, called Heavy Fuel Oil, is so dirty that on land it’s considered a hazardous waste.
The use of Heavy Fuel Oil is permitted for use at sea despite the fact that:

  • Heavy Fuel Oil spills are impossible to clean up when there is an accident;

  • Exhaust from burning Heavy Fuel Oil causes cancer and other
cardiovascular diseases and it is responsible for the premature deaths of tens
of thousands of people every year; and

  • Heavy Fuel Oil exhaust contains black carbon which contributes to
global warming. Almost 50% of the warming within the Arctic is attributed to
black carbon.

That’s why Seattle and are pushing Carnival to commit to cleaning up its dirty ships. Upcoming actions will feature youth environmental ambassadors from Plant for the Planet interacting with cruise passengers, Mosquito Fleet kayaktivists organizing to surround ships, and actions to educate an Oprah-branded cruise to Alaska., formerly ForestEthics, challenges corporations and governments to put the health and well-being of people and the environment first, because all of our lives depend on it. For more information, visit
CONTACT: Kendra Ulrich,, Senior Shipping Campaigner –