Southampton, one of the UK’s leading cruise destinations, is now one of Europe’s most polluted cities by cruise ships.
A new study from Transport & Environment has found that toxic air pollutants from cruise ships are back to pre-pandemic levels.
In Southampton, the study found just 45 ships were responsible for almost 10 times more pollution than the city’s 93,000 cars.
Barcelona, in Spain, was Europe’s most polluted port while Civitavecchia, the port used for Rome, was second.
Piraeus, Greece’s Athenian port, was third on the list. Southampton was seventh behind other popular ports such as Palma.
Most polluted cruise ports in Europe
- Barcelona, Spain
- Civitavecchia, Italy
- Piraeus, Greece
- Palma Mallorca, Spain
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Hamburg, Germany
- Southampton, UK
- Mykonos, Greece
- Thira, Greece
- Funchal, Portugal
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Jon Hood, UK Sustainable Shipping manager at T&E UK, said: “While Southampton might not have the weather of Barcelona, Mallorca, or Marseille it certainly has the pollution.
“Our port cities in the UK are suffering significant impacts from the harmful air pollutants caused by shipping.”
Hood said the UK needed to switch from “filthy fossil fuels” and set “binding targets” for UK ports to support zero emission technologies.
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The report found that Venice, which introduced a ban on large cruise ships, had seen pollution from cruise ships fall by 80 percent in that time.
The Italian city was Europe’s most polluted port in the 2019 study but has now fallen to 41st place.
Other popular cruise destinations such as Marseille, Naples and Stockholm landed just outside the top 10.
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