The Port of Long Beach issued its 2021 emissions inventory report this week, presenting both good and bad news on its performance.
The bad news is that record cargo volumes and the unusually high number of ocean-going vessels staying at anchor off the coast drove up greenhouse gas emissions by 22% over the baseline 2005 results.
The good news is that other pollutant emissions were significantly lower in 2021 compared with 2005. Decreases were 88% in diesel soot, 49% in nitrogen oxides and 96% in sulfur oxides.
“Putting it simply, the pandemic created emissions-inducing bottlenecks in the supply chain,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman in a statement. “No one could have foreseen this once-in-a-lifetime event, but we are not discouraged by this temporary impediment, and our goal to be a zero-emissions port remains.”
Executive Director Mario Cordero noted that “many of the negative conditions which created this perfect storm have improved. In recent months, as we’ve left behind the surge of covid, great strides have been made in reducing the number of ships waiting at anchor. Looking ahead, a vessel-queuing program put into place last year to relieve congestion is also expected to have a positive impact on the next inventory.”