Ports of Los Angeles and Shanghai launch ‘Green Shipping Corridor’ to reduce emissions from one of world’s busiest trade routes

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Shanghai have announced a partnership to create a “first-of-its-kind” green shipping corridor in an effort to reduce emissions from one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

The Green Shipping Corridor partnership, launched with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, will work to develop key decarbonization targets and implement a plan for the Green Corridor by the end of 2022, including the deliverables, milestones and partnership roles.

Green Corridor goals will include things like the gradual introduction of low, ultra-low and zero-carbon ships over the 2020s, with the world’s first trans-Pacific zero-carbon container ships to be introduced by 2030.

The partnership will also work to develop best management practices to help reduce emissions and improve efficiency for all vessels using the trade corridor, reduce supply chain emissions from port operations and improve air quality in the ports of Shanghai and Los Angeles and adjacent communities.

The Green Shipping Corridor partnership was initiated by the City of Shanghai, the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Shanghai (via the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission), the Port of Los Angeles and C40 Cities, a network of nearly 100 mayors of the main cities of the world.

“International collaboration is key to decarbonizing global supply chains. We look forward to partnering with the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, Shanghai International Port Group, major shipping companies and major cargo owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime supply chain. It is time to begin this important work,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.

Maritime partners include AP Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Shanghai International Ports Group (SIPG), COSCO Shipping Lines, Aspen Institute’s Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV) facilitators and Maritime Technology Cooperation Center – Asian.

“There is an urgent need to accelerate efforts to decarbonize the shipping sector if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. By convening international coalitions of the willing and creating a scalable and replicable model for others to follow cities, we hope this groundbreaking green transport corridor initiative will catalyze action globally,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities.

At the UN’s COP26 climate summit in November, a coalition of 19 countries agreed to create zero-emission shipping routes to accelerate the decarbonization of the global shipping industry, which accounts for nearly 3% of global CO2 emissions.

The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set out an initial strategy to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 50% below 2008 levels by 2050, but the agency is facing growing pressure to adopt a more ambitious target in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of The Aspen Institute, said, “The Aspen Institute is proud to support this important international collaboration. Through our Decarbonization of Shipping initiative and in our role as a facilitator of the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels initiative, we look forward to working with our partners to help enable the deployment of the first vessels powered by zero greenhouse gas emissions along this critical sea route and to make this green corridor project a model of success for the rest of the world. It is inspiring that the United States and China have come together in this way to address the climate impact of this crucial global industry.