US-based cruise service provider Carnival has signed a cooperation agreement with non-governmental organisation (NGO) Bellona Foundation to jointly improve the environmental and sustainability impact of the cruise shipping industry.

Both the companies will focus on solutions, regulations and legislation, supporting the use of environmentally friendly vessels to benefit the environment, local destinations and the travellers.

Through this agreement, the companies aim to meet their common goal of developing a more sustainable cruise industry in a future zero-emission society.

The newly formed partnership will be based on the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) recently adopted strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The IMO strategy also aims to further improve the cruise industry’s environmental impact on local communities and destinations.

According to Bellona, pursuing the ambitious goal of zero emissions in port and during operations in pristine areas is expected to help develop technological approaches and operations.

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“Our global cruise line brands have taken and continue to take a leadership role for sustainable tourism.”

Carnival Asia and Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm said: “Sustainable operations is a top priority for our business and, as the world’s largest cruise company, our global cruise line brands have taken and continue to take a leadership role for sustainable tourism.

“We are deeply committed to protecting the environment and that includes the oceans and seas in which our vessels sail and the communities in which we operate.

“Working together with leading environmental NGOs such as The Bellona Foundation will help us to achieve our vision to provide our guests with extraordinary vacation experiences while meeting and often exceeding our environmental commitments.”

Carnival currently operates nine global cruise line brands.