Letter of claims at the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille

crédit : Stop Croisières

For the attention of the organs of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille:

The Management Board,

The supervisory board,

The Development Council,

Marseille, September 30,

Since the 1990s, the cruise industry has benefited from favorable measures to increase the number and size of ships received in Marseille. In this time, the number of passengers has gone from a few thousand to more than a million and a half this year.

However, this growth was not done without consequences. Air pollution of ships contributes to the premature deaths of inhabitants exposed to these emanations, while sea discharges cause the degradation of marine ecosystems.

In addition, the activity poses a societal problem: it is structurally incompatible with the climatic objectives set by the Paris Agreements and ratified by France. The cruise industry requires enormous amounts of materials and energies, which, by their consumption, contributes to the warming of the atmosphere. According to the work of the IPCC, to stay below +1.5 ° C, it is necessary to reduce our global greenhouse gas emissions with “a peak at the latest by 2025”. This is to limit the destruction of our life conditions as much as possible.

None of the technologies announced or already implemented offers real solutions. They tend to move the problem (scrubber), respond only partially (LNG is a climate bomb) or cause additional pressure on limited resources (platform electrification).

However, none of the shipowners have taken these issues into account. On the contrary, they continue to build and maintain extraordinary ships, inducing the increase in all these nuisances.

The whole of this observation seems to be shared since the actors of the cruise in Marseille mention it in their letter addressed to the municipality on July 28, 2022:

“We will agree on one point, [the effort made by the actors of the cruise] is not enough to respond to climatic emergencies and preserve our coastlines.”

Nevertheless, the urgency is such that it is impossible to bet on providential reflections or technical solutions – as proposed – if they do not attack the roots of the problem: a recreational activity with such ecological, health and societal impacts n ‘is not acceptable.

As we know, the severity of the situation requires making courageous and immediate decisions. We are all called to change to guarantee our companies a desirable horizon. As such, the Grand Maritime Port of Marseille must face it and assume its responsibilities.

Thus with regard to the unbearableness of cruises, and through this letter, we ask all the organs of the GPMM:

  • To publicly announce the judgment of cruises in Marseille for health, ecological and societal reasons.
  • To put on the agenda of the next meetings of the Management Board, the Supervisory Board and the Development Council, the immediate development of a strategy to support in the best conditions the cessation of the activity and promote the creation of new sustainable sectors.
  • To hold a clear and transparent communication so that all the actors, public, private and associative can project themselves into this new framework.

This re-orientation will make it possible to reinject public investments initially planned in the cruise to convert workers and consider new activities.

At the same time, efforts will be able to be devoted to the complete electrification of the quays receiving ships ensuring maritime links and essential freight ships, as well as the form 10 shipyard, in order to minimize the nuisances generated.

This difficult but consistent decision with regard to the issues will be a strong and powerful signal for residents and workers, for France and the world as for current and future generations. It seems inconceivable that the GPMM turns its back on scientific consensus and does not take the magnitude of the situation seriously. We can no longer believe the chimeras of an unlimited and infinite world. On the contrary, we must be lucid and organized.

Awaiting your reply.

The Stop Cruises collective

Letter also brought to knowledge:

De Bérangère Couillard, Secretary of State responsible for Ecology,

By Alexis Vuillemin, director of rail and river transport and ports,