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Photo: VisitCopenhagen

Copenhagen highly polluted by cruises

The Danish capital is among European ports with the highest cruise ship pollution, but dockside power stations could curb it.

Cruise traffic in the Danish capital has been increasing each year, but a new report on the effect it is having on the local environment raises concerns.

The report from the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E) ranked Denmark in the top 10 European locations most polluted by cruise ship traffic.

While the country was in 10th place on the list, it was worse off than other areas with major metropolitan centres and Copenhagen was worse than all of the cities in other Nordic countries.

All over Europe, Barcelona was the most polluted, followed by Palma de Mallorca, Venice, Civitavecchia, Southampton, Lisbon, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Marseille, and Las Palmas before Copenhagen.

Among the Nordics, Helsinki was closest to Copenhagen at 22nd, while Stockholm, Reykjavik and Oslo also made the top 50, at 24th, 29th and 44th, respectively.

Spewing pollution
Cruise ships release significant amounts of air pollution in the form of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and fine inhalable particles.

The report also stated that cruise ships emitted 310,488 kg of nitrogen oxides, 14,425 kg of sulphur oxides and 5,738 kg of fine particles in Copenhagen in 2017. In comparison, the entire Danish car fleet at that time of 206,000 emitted 806,206 kg, 2,511 kg and 93,640 kg of the same materials, respectively.

Aarhus University has suggested that such air pollution actually accounts for about 4,000 premature deaths in Denmark every year.

Experts have said that land-based power stations allowing the large vessels to get power when docked in the city without their engines running could alleviate the problem.

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