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Cruise Ships as a Health Risk for Coastal Residents in the Arctic and the Role of International Law


This public lecture
will be in English

Department of Law at Ilisimatusarfik hosts a public lecture by associate professor Stefan Kirchner: "Cruise Ships as a Health Risk for Coastal Residents in the Arctic and the Role of International Law".

The tourism industry is currently experiencing a boom which is doubly relevant for the Arctic region. Not only is there a dramatic increase in interest in visiting the Arctic, the simultaneous boom in cruise shipping means a growing interest in Arctic cruise tourism.

In particular in smaller locations, this development has proven to be a double-edged sword as small communities lack the infrastructure to host large numbers of tourists while the economic benefits on the local level remain limited.

One aspect of the shipping industry in general, which affects the cruise industry in particular, is often overlooked: air pollution from ships. Most ships use relatively dirty fuels which pose a health risk to those on board or near the ship. Unlike in the case of large ports, cruise vessels in the Arctic often stay near residential areas.

In order to ensure the continued operation of electronic systems etc., ship engines are often running continuously, resulting in significant local air pollution.

It is estimated that air pollution from ships is responsible for 50,000 premature deaths per year in Europe alone. International law plays an important role in making ship operations safer for both humans and the natural environment.

In this presentation it will be shown how measures, such as the future obligatory global Sulphur limit in ship fuels, which will enter into force in a bit more than two months, and new technical developments make the shipping industry greener - but also how much still needs to be done to ensure that cruise ships do not pose a health hazard for local residents near ports.

  • When: Tuesday 22 October 2019, at 16.30 - 18.00
  • Where: Auditorium at Ilisimatusarfik


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