Climate protectors disrupt Carnival CEO at CruiseWorld conference in Florida

November 7, 2018 wants cruise giant to reduce its climate, human health impacts and stop burning heavy fuel oil — one of world’s dirtiest fossil fuels

MIAMI  — Climate and public health protectors with international environmental organization disrupted the massive cruise industry trade event CruiseWorld today in Fort Lauderdale, interrupting welcoming remarks ahead of a speech by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald. is calling on the cruise giant to reduce its environmental and human health impacts by transitioning away from burning heavy fuel oil — the dirtiest fossil fuel available for marine transportation — to power most of its ships.

“Mr. Donald, as a parent, there is nothing more important than ensuring a safe future for my children. Air pollution from your ships puts their health at risk. Please stop fueling your ships with heavy fuel oil. Will you do that?” asked Kristina Flores, Climate Campaigner at, of Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald.

After the CEO’s speech, the group unveiled a “talking briefcase” that played a message for travel agents about how Carnival’s use of heavy fuel oil poses a risk to the health of their passengers and the places they visit. Listen to the message here. The groups also floated a banner tied to balloons into the rafters of the exhibition floor that read “Carnival’s pollution puts families at risk.”

Photos and video will be uploaded throughout the day here:

On Friday, November 9, the group plans to protest outside the Miami Heat game with a mobile billboard to educate attendees on the climate and human health impacts of Carnival’s pollution. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is the former CEO and current board chair of Carnival Corporation. 


When burned, heavy fuel oil releases enormous amounts of toxins, heavy metals, greenhouse gases, and black carbon (or soot) into the atmosphere. 

As air pollution becomes an increasing concern for global health officials — including the head of the World Health Organization who recently said air pollution is “the new tobacco” — Carnival’s use of heavy fuel oil is putting human health and the climate at serious risk. 

Approximately 70% of ship emissions occur within 250 miles of land. These emissions can travel inland and expose millions of unsuspecting people to dangerous pollution levels, which raises serious concerns for cruise ship meccas like Miami and Fort Lauderdale and port cities around the world. 

“Carnival claims sustainability and human rights are core company values, but it cannot be an environmental leader while burning one of the dirtiest fossil fuels available. As the largest cruise operator in the world, Carnival should stop putting families and children at risk from breathing polluted air. If it wants to meet its own higher standards, Carnival can and must become an industry leader by ending its use of heavy fuel oil. Whatever Carnival does, other cruise companies will follow,” said Kendra Ulrich, Senior Shipping Campaigner at

Air pollution related to ship exhaust from the global shipping industry is well-documented. A 2018 study attributed up to 400,000 annual premature deaths from lung and cardiovascular disease to ship engine exhaust. And a 2018 investigation measuring air pollution from cruise ships in Greece prompted the British Heart Foundation to issue advice in September telling cruise passengers to avoid standing downwind of the ship’s smokestacks.

Of the 26.6 million people that went on cruises last year, nearly half, about 12 million people, went on a cruise on one of Carnival Corporation’s 10 subsidiaries: Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK), Fathom.

BACKGROUND is a member of the Clean Up Carnival coalition. Learn more at

More information about Carnival’s environmental impact can be found here — including Indigenous communities calling for an end to heavy fuel oil use in the Arctic, the truth about cruise ship scrubber technology, and caveats to Carnival’s carbon reduction claims:


Media contacts: 

In Miami and available for interviews: Kendra Ulrich, Senior Shipping Campaigner, kendra@stand.earth360-255-3555

Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary, virginia@stand.earth510-858-9902