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California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia vow to tackle shipping’s carbon footprint

The governors of the American west coast states of California, Oregon, Washington along with the premier of British Columbia are joining forces to promote a low-carbon society, with shipping and ports very much part of the planning.

“Rapidly accelerating climate change threatens our communities along the Pacific Coast of North America with cascading impacts to economic livelihoods, public health and safety, cultural and social practices, and natural systems from wildfire, drought, heat waves, ocean change, and flooding. This moment demands West Coast leaders once again step up and demonstrate regional leadership to strengthen physical, social, and natural infrastructure to meet the compelling and undeniable challenge of climate change. We need to continue to inspire accelerated efforts regionally, nationally, and at a global scale. For current generations, kids, and grandkids, we must act now in a way that gives everyone opportunity and security,” the preamble to the new agreement among the west coast territories states.

The package of measures outlined covers many industries and much of society. Specifically on maritime, the four leaders have vowed to launch a regional dialogue with ports and other levels of government where appropriate about how to achieve collective decarbonisation goals through strategies such as electrifying drayage and cargo handling equipment; investing in infrastructure for shore power that helps reduce emissions from ships; and pursuing strategies to advance low- and zero-carbon shipping.

Many local politicians along the west coast have been agitating for emission reduction measures for the thousands of ships calling every year, something that became more visible during the supply chain snarl-ups seen through the pandemic with vessels backed up for miles, belching out smoke near beaches up and down the coastline.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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