Climate group applauds California-Japan collaboration on green ports

The governments of California and Japan announced a new collaboration to clean up pollution at seaports, commercialize zero-emission fuels and maritime technologies, and establish green shipping corridors. The Letter of Intent was signed in Tokyo on March 14 by leadership of the Governor Newsom administration of California and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan.

According to their press release, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) will support green shipping corridors, port decarbonization and the deployment of zero-emission transportation through California’s US$1.2 billion Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, with awards for the historic one-time program scheduled to be announced later this month. 

The Japanese Ministry reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience Partnership wherein the Ports of Los Angeles, Yokohama, and Kobe are making “common and concrete efforts to decarbonize operations,” emphasized commitments to commercializing hydrogen fuel cell technologies, and shared it will be developing standards for bunkering of ammonia. The governments will share expertise and best practices on critical efforts to cut port-related pollution, including strategies for offshore wind development, and zero-emission fuels and infrastructure.

Allyson Browne, Climate Campaign Manager for Ports, Pacific Environment, said: “We applaud the newest collaboration between California and Japan to clean up our ports and end ship pollution, and we urge that their collaboration focus on driving immediate emissions reductions, scaling absolute zero well-to-wake emissions technologies and ultimately achieving 100% zero-emission shipping by 2040. 

“According to research by the International Council on Clean Transportation, aligned action by Japan and California to scale zero-emission fuels has the potential to transform clean energy dynamics along the transpacific trade route, the backbone of global trade. We look forward to supporting both governments to achieve the promise of this Letter of Intent.”

Photo credit: iStock/ viavado. Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 9, 2021. Cargo Containers being offloaded at the Port of Los Angeles.

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