Norway adopts zero-emissions regulations in world heritage fjords

'Future of the Fjords' 'Future of the Fjords' was built by Brødrene AA for the Fjords. Credit: Brødrene AA

The Norwegian Parliament has adopted a resolution to halt emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian world heritage fjords as soon as technically possible and no later than 2026 to make the fjords the world’s first zero emissions zone at sea.

At a national level, the decision is expected to be a key development in working towards emissions-free solutions on tourist ships, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and halting local air pollution.

"For the first time in the world there is a requirement for emission-free sailing in the fjords and their harbours. Norway has long been a world leader in emission-free ferries based on sound political decisions on zero-emission requirements. Now the country is taking a step further in the maritime green shift, that has global repercussions,” said Marius Holm, head of environmental foundation ZERO.

Planning required

The decision means all cruise and tourist ships currently sailing along the coast of Norway will be required to plan for how to halt emissions. Existing ships must be equipped for electric propulsion with battery packs and, in the future, hydrogen. In addition, onshore power will be needed in ports to enable ships to recharge when docked.

In 2015, the Norwegian parliament decided all ferries in new tenders must have low or zero emission technology. As a result, more than 60 electrical ferries will be seaborne within the next few years.

All-electric tourist ship Future of the Fjords has recently been built in Hyen by Brødrene AA for the Fjords.

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