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.