French city of Cannes to ban some cruise ships

High-polluting cruise lines impacted

By Lilit Marcus, CNN
Getty Images

Cruise ship off the coast of Cannes, France

(CNN) - The French Riviera city of Cannes, best known for the A-list film festival held there each year, is making moves to ban some cruise ships from its port.

The decision comes after the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, conducted a study on how cruise ships were affecting the local ecosystem.

"I propose that the Prime Minister provide the mayors of the coastal municipalities with police power to fight against marine pollution of ships," Lisnard wrote in a tweet in June 2019, which linked to a larger proposal addressed to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

According to Lisnard, 370,000 people visited Cannes by cruise ship in 2018. It is the fourth-busiest port in France.

However, this will not be an outright ban on all watercraft. The specific target of Cannes' new guidelines are ships not meeting a 0.1% sulfur cap in their fuel emissions.

If these high-polluting ships do approach the port despite the ruling, they will not be permitted to unload any passengers.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which accounts for about 40% of Cannes' total cruise ship traffic, signed an agreement with the city pledging to make its ships more environmentally friendly.

Saint-Raphaël, another French port city located between Cannes and St-Tropez, is now enforcing a similar ruling. Ships that wish to dock there as of 2020 will be required to sign a similar agreement to reduce their emissions.

While the two French ports are citing environmental concerns regarding their cutbacks on cruise ships, other European cities are citing overtourism as a reason to limit ship numbers.

The Greek island of Santorini, beloved for its striking blue-and-white architecture, has imposed a maximum of 8,000 cruise ship passengers per day. Erosion and overuse of water were among the reasons cited for the decision.

Earlier this year, the city of Venice, Italy, banned large cruise ships from its historic center.

This also isn't Mayor Lisnard's first controversial decision: In 2016, he signed a short-term ban on "burkinis," citing terrorism concerns after attacks in nearby Nice.

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