- Port authorities in Hamburg, Barcelona, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver and Rotterdam last week launched the World Ports Climate Action Program — a commitment to help advance Paris Agreement carbon emission goals by taking action at their ports.
- The announcement outlined five actions they would commit to: Using digital tools, advancing sustainable public policies, accelerating zero-emission solutions in-port, speeding up efforts to decarbonize cargo-handling facilities, and developing infrastructure to make low-carbon fuels viable for maritime transport.
- The port authorities also called upon their maritime partners and other ports to join the "commitment" and upon regulators to adopt global carbon pricing policies.
The list of ports working together on these new commitments is an all-star list of facilities already integrating environmental sustainability into their long-term plans.
"The Port of Rotterdam, the lead port on this initiative, reached out to selected ports that are recognized internationally as environmental leaders," Philip Sanfield, director of Media Relations at the Port of Los Angeles, told Supply Chain Dive via email.
Many of the ports, Sanfield said, had previously worked together on environmental programs. At first, they did so through the International Association of Ports and Harbors' (IAPH) World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI), which as of March 2018 became the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP).
The World Ports Action Climate Program is closely aligned to the WPSP. In the announcement, the Port of Rotterdam said progress of the program would be communicated through the WPSP. The difference, however, is the WPSP focuses on creating guidelines and tools to help ports meet climate goals, but the World Ports Climate Action Program is a commitment to implement those guidelines, tools and strategies.
"This is a rallying call for all ports to join forces and work together with the shipping industry in advancing the decarbonisation of the maritime transport sector," IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven said in a statement. "These seven port authorities and their collaboration will accelerate that process – our job will be to ensure that ports worldwide benefit from their know-how and innovations."
Participating ports were first contacted by the Port of Rotterdam to join this initiative "several months ago," Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning at the Port of Long Beach, told Supply Chain Dive via email. However, the official launch is just the start of a long effort to meet climate goals.
"We have made an agreement to work together, but the real work is yet to come," Tomley said. "The idea is that the various ports that signed on will take a lead role in moving forward with the individual focus areas identified in the declaration, and will reach out to other ports to build support."