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US shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line will increase purchases of verified CO2 reduction credit (VCRC). The global cruise company operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. Its combined fleet of 28 ships with nearly 60,000 berths offers itineraries to more than 490 destinations worldwide. Norwegian has nine additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2027, an additional 24,000 berths.
The company -which operates cruise vessels worldwide- had a total demand for VCRC´s of 700,000 mt in 2021, equivalent to planting 31 million trees. Norwegian had established a 3 million mt VCRC purchases for the period 2021-2023 in its latest sustainability report. By November 2022, the company had retired less than 750,000 offsets. This means that the number of VCRC´s claimed against the company's carbon footprint was around 10% of its total annual demand.
In July, the shipping company retired 225,000 mt of offsets in the Verra registry, the central repository to register projects or issue, retire, or transfer credits. Most of the VCRC´s have come from pre-2016 renewable energy projects in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey.
As cruise line travel demand has been on the rise lately, Norwegian anticipates an increase in emissions over the next 18 months. The cruising company reported an 82% occupancy rate in Q3 2022 and expects a return to historical occupancy rates by Q2 2023. Booking trends for FY2023 are positive, with a cumulative booked position equal to record 2019 levels.
Norwegian is pursuing net zero emissions by 2050 across the entire operations and value chain as part of its long-term climate action strategy. The company implemented a voluntary carbon offset program to bridge the gap in decarbonisation efforts while exploring long-term solutions. The company's scope 1 and 2 emissions amounted to 1.4 million mt in 2021, down 50% from 2019, following the demand drop for cruise travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as all COVID-19-related guest protocols were lifted in April 2022.
DGB has 27 million verified CO2 reduction credits in its pipeline.
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