The ports of Shanghai and Los Angeles, in partnership with shipping lines and cargo owners, are working to transition to zero-carbon-fueled ships by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the world’s busiest container shipping route.
On Friday, the parties committed to delivering an implementation plan for the green shipping corridor by the end of 2022. The plan will include roles for the partnership, deliverables and significant milestones.
“International collaboration is essential to decarbonize global supply chains. We look forward to partnering with the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, the Shanghai International Port Group, leading shipping lines and major cargo owners to reduce GHG emissions in the maritime supply chain. It’s time to get started on this important work,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a release.
Despite growing efforts to adopt more sustainable fuels and strategies, a recent report said that shipping-related GHG emissions rose by 4.9% in 2021. Shipping emissions are expected to double by 2050 in a business-as-usual scenario.
Along with industry, this partnership is focused on phasing out fossil fuel-powered vessels and ramping up adoption of low- and zero-carbon fuel ships and technologies through the 2020s. The first trans-Pacific zero-carbon container ships are expected to be introduced by 2030, the release said.
The partnership aims to improve air quality in and around the port cities of Los Angeles and Shanghai while reducing emissions from port operations. It will also strive to develop a set of best management practices in terms of emissions and ship efficiency for international trade corridors.
“Accelerating efforts to decarbonize the shipping sector is urgent if we are to limit global heating to 1.5 [degrees Celsius]. By convening international coalitions of the willing and creating a scalable and replicable model for other cities to follow, we hope this groundbreaking green shipping corridor initiative will catalyze action on a global scale,” Mark Watts, executive director of C40 Cities, said in the release.
Why Shanghai and Los Angeles?
The Port of Los Angeles has been the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere for the past 20 years, and its top trading partner in terms of cargo volume is China, the release said. In terms of container throughput, the Port of Shanghai is the world’s largest port.
In 2020, ocean vessels moved 31.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units across the Pacific Ocean, which made up 21% of the world’s total container movement, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The trans-Pacific corridor is the busiest container shipping lane in the world, making it an ideal shipping lane to focus on for one of the first green corridors, C40 Cities said. Setting up green corridors will be vital to enable early adoption of shipping decarbonization solutions.
Read: Green shipping corridors to come out of COP26
The partnership members
The cities of Shanghai and LA and C40 Cities initiated the Green Shipping Corridor, joining the two ports as part of the partnership. The C40 Green Ports Forum aims to connect major port cities around the world using greener solutions to mitigate air pollution and GHG emissions.
Additional partners include A.P. Moller – Maersk; CMA CGM; Shanghai International Ports Group; COSCO Shipping Lines; Aspen Institute’s Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, which facilitates Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels; and the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre – Asia.
“The Aspen Institute [looks] forward to working with our partners to help enable the deployment of the first vessels powered by zero life-cycle GHG emission fuels along this critical shipping route and to making this green corridor project a model of success for the rest of the world. It is inspiring that the U.S. and China have come together in this way to address the climate impact of this crucial global industry,” Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, said in a statement.
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