Scotland’s government plans to empower local councils to tax cruise ships as a way to raise money for port towns that accommodate cruise visitors.
The Scottish Green Party, which shares power with the Scottish National Party, announced its intention to tax cruise ships at a conference in Dunfermline on Oct. 28.
Besides raising money for the visited ports, the Scotland Greens also envision levying higher taxes on ships that emit more pollutants, according to The Herald in Scotland. The party said the tax would provide an incentive for cruise lines to build zero-emission ships.
“This is essential,” said Scottish Greens co-leader and Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater in a press release. “One ship produces the same amount of carbon emissions as 12,000 cars; operators have been allowed to get away with polluting for too long. A cruise ship levy will empower councils to help tackle this global problem.”
Visit Scotland reports more than 800,000 cruise passengers visited in 2019, with that tally expected to grow to one million visitors this year.
Several cities have pushed back against overtourism and cruise emissions by pushing ships out of their city centers. The latest move came from Barcelona, Europe’s busiest cruise port, which began banning ships from its city center in October after a several-year quest to do so.
Amsterdam city leaders voted in July to relocate the cruise ship terminal away from the city center, and Venice banned most cruise ships from its city center in 2021.
In the Maine town of Bar Harbor, the council and businesses are embroiled in a court battle over capping the number of cruise ship calls.
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