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Trans-Pacific Ports Unveil Ambitious Green and Digital Shipping Corridor

LOS ANGELES— A study commissioned by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach has unveiled a roadmap for transforming the trans-Pacific shipping corridor into a hub of sustainability and digital innovation. One year after the signing of the memorandum of understanding to establish the Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC), the completion of the comprehensive baselining study marks a significant milestone in the corridor’s development.

Conducted by the American Bureau of Shipping and commissioned by C40 Cities and the ports, the study analyzed maritime trade flows between Singapore, Los Angeles and Long Beach, providing a baseline of activities and energy demand requirements for vessels operating on the corridor through 2050. The findings underscore the potential for significant socioeconomic benefits, including the creation of over 700 new job opportunities in zero and near-zero emission fuel production and improved local air quality.

C40 comprises almost 100 mayors from the world’s foremost cities, dedicated to taking immediate actions to address the climate crisis and foster a future where all individuals can flourish. The mayors of C40 cities pledge to employ a science-driven and community-centric strategy to assist in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, while fostering the development of healthy, fair and resilient communities. The diverse coalition, including labor, business, youth climate activists and civic representatives, aims to aid mayors in reducing emissions by 50% by 2030, transitioning away from fossil fuel usage and enhancing urban climate resilience and equity.

“The study provides a sense of scale and scope to inform our implementation of the Green and Digital Shipping Corridor,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Achieving the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions required will take coordination and commitment from public and private stakeholders across the maritime and goods movement industries.”

Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero echoed Seroka’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of targeting ship-borne emissions as part of the ports’ efforts to curb emissions. “This work, vital to our net zero-emission quest, will result in economic and health benefits all along the trans-Pacific trade corridor,” said Cordero.

The study estimates how much near-zero and zero-emission fuels will be required for vessels operating on the corridor through 2050, considering factors such as production costs, availability and the targets outlined in the International Maritime Organization’s Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships.
Looking ahead, the corridor partners are committed to a data-driven decision-making approach, leveraging the study’s insights to guide their actions in pursuing decarbonization objectives. Key findings include projections on shipping demand, energy consumption and job creation within the corridor.

In addition to the study, the partners convened the first in-person stakeholder meeting during Singapore Maritime Week 2024. These solutions will focus on enabling the supply and adoption of zero and near-zero emissions fuels, scaling up energy efficiency solutions and leveraging digital technologies for emissions monitoring and reporting.

“All three ports will participate in the Accelerating Digitalization and Decarbonization Conference organized by MPA as part of Singapore Maritime Week 2024,” said Teo Eng Dih, the agency’s chief executive. “With traffic along the GDSC accounting for 7% of the world’s container trade, the initiatives by GDSC partners and stakeholders will help generate growth and new opportunities for maritime professionals.”
C40 Executive Director Mark Watts emphasized the urgency of decarbonizing the shipping sector and applauded the initiative’s potential to create green jobs and health benefits for local communities. “C40 is proud to support this first-mover initiative,” said Watts. “It has the potential to support the development and uptake of low- and zero-carbon fuels and vessels.”

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