Greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point have going up 19.1 per cent since 2010, with cruise ships being the largest contributors. (Black Press File Photo)

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Greenhouse gas emissions are up from cruise ship visits, but efforts have been made to limit pollutant levels, says a new Emissions Inventory Report released by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA).

The report was composed by Synergy Enterprises, and comes out just days after the City of Victoria requested that the GVHA limit its cruise ship expansion plans until more climate measures are put in place.

In the report, it’s revealed that since 2010, all emissions at Ogden Point, including from ocean vessels, transportation, buildings and equipment, have increased by 19.1 per cent. During this time, the number of cruise ship calls has increased by 11 percent and the number of passengers has increased by 45 per cent.

READ MORE: Victoria councillors aim to halt harbour authority cruise ship expansion plans

Cruise ships are the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 96.3 per cent in 2018. The next highest levels come from tenants at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point (formerly simply Ogden Point), including ground transportation from local tour operators (around three per cent), and a mix of emissions from Western Stevedoring’s and the GVHA’s on-site emissions.

The report equates this level of emissions to the same as 3,241 cars on the road in a year.

In the meantime, increasingly stringent standards on fuel emissions has seen a 41 per cent decrease in Criteria Air Contaminates (CAC’s) including Nitrogen Oxides and Sulphur Oxides.

Since 2010, Ogden Point’s carbon footprint has increased by 19.8 per cent.

On Friday, Oct. 11 the councillors from the City of Victoria put forward a motion asking the GVHA to rein in its expansion plans until more climate-friendly solutions, such as electrical charging stations, are installed.

ALSO READ: Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

GVHA CEO Ian Robertson told Black Press that he was both “surprised and disappointed” at the city’s approach, and also insisted that the release date of the emissions report was nothing more than a coincidence.

“While we would love to just flip a switch and supply shore power, the installation of a single plug comes with a series of steps and considerations that range from availability of electricity, cost and funding, and a construction timeline,” Robertson said in a release.

A 2012 study found the cost for one electrical outlet to be around $13 million; comparatively, the GVHA 2018 annual revenues were $14.5 million. This, Robertson said, will require a community effort to re-mediate.

“We need an approach that aligns everyone behind common goals of mitigating and reducing environmental impacts while ensuring that the 800 indirect and direct jobs and the more than $130 million in economic impact are also prioritized and protected,” said Robertson. “We will be looking to all levels of government and our cruise partners who share in these important priorities to determine an appropriate path forward.”

To see the full report visit gvha.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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