Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to adopt Councilmember Nithya Raman’s resolution calling on ships calling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to ensure to be 100% zero-emissions by 2030.
The resolution also requires support for legislation or administrative action to rapidly decarbonise the maritime shipping industry and to create zero-emission shipping corridors along the California coast, the West Coast of the United States, and across the transpacific trade route.
“The unseen consequences of allowing the shipping industry to continue operating as is, should give us all pause,” said Raman. “Communities living near ports are suffering from higher rates of childhood asthma, cancer, and more. In fact, ship pollution contributes to an estimated 1,300 premature deaths annually in Los Angeles and Long Beach alone. These numbers are simply unacceptable, and this resolution is a first step towards acknowledging that we must do everything in our power to create healthy, breathable port communities.”
With record numbers of ships idling off the shores of the San Pedro Bay Port Complex this year, local pollution levels from shipping are expected to spike in southern California this year.
Dawny’all Heydari from the NGO Pacific Environment, commented: “Los Angeles City Council is taking a historic stand for the health, dignity, and longevity of Angelenos who live near ports.”
The 2030 deadline is likely to prove overly ambitious with the greenest of pledges from top carriers thus far saying they’ll have their first zero emissions ships running this decade, but by no means entire fleets ready in eight years’ time.
Last month, Amazon, Ikea, Unilever and Michelin were among nine multinational companies that have committed to switching all of their ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040.