Mayors Sign Pact for Zero Emissions at Ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach

 In carbon emission, eco-friendly, green, green eco-friendly, International Shipping, Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, port pollution, ports
Port of Los Angeles Smog

Smog over the Port of Los Angeles PICTURE: Nick C. Prior

Zero emissions. That’s the goal the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working toward.

Such a feat might have seemed impossible ten years ago. Or perhaps like the science fiction MacGuffin of a spy movie–some invention of a completely clean energy source that the rich and powerful petroleum dealers will kill to keep from the world. Either way, zero emissions at the country’s busiest port complex would have been almost a laughable pipe dream a decade ago.

However, the progress that has been made at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over even the last decade have made the fantastic idea of emissions free ports a little more plausible. Living in Los Angeles ten years ago, I could see the smog when driving by the ports. Now, the skies seem much more blue.

That’s not to say emissions are no longer a problem at the ports, but there is significant improvement. Visible improvement.

Then yesterday (Monday, June 12th), the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach signed a pact to update the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) at the ports, targeting zero emissions in the cargo handling machinery and trucks of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“I know most of you, like I, can remember what the air actually looked like just ten years ago, twenty years ago,” Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia said. “And the work that has happened from the environmental side over this last decade, in particular through the ports, has produced the kind of air quality we have today and that we can see today in the sky in San Pedro.”

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka stated, “While we have demonstrated great success for more than a decade in terms of reducing air emissions while simultaneously increasing cargo movement and jobs, all of us here today recognize there is much more work to do.”

Speaking on working together on the CAAP, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Together we will arrive at a document that lays out goals that are bold but absolutely worthy of our effort.”

The document the mayors signed gives a timeline for zero-emission technology at the ports. By 2030, the ports are to reach zero-emission cargo-handling equipment and zero-emission trucks by 2035. Emissions from ships calling upon the ports are also to continue being reduced.

The declaration the mayors signed yesterday is not a plan in and of itself. Rather, the joint declaration requires both the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to update the CAAP by this November.

That makes it clear there will be much hammering out of goals, timelines, and plans over the upcoming months to continue making the ports greener. The ports must continue to balance their green initiatives with efficiency to protect the health of the surrounding communities and serve the shippers who import and export through the complex well.

When the updated CAAP is released, Universal Cargo will update you on the plan through this blog.

Here’s a video from the Port of Los Angeles, highlighting the press conference where the mayors signed the declaration as well as addressed the media with leaders from the ports:

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