California, LA and Japan Sign Agreements for Green Shipping Initiative

California Japan green shipping
California, Japan, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Yokohama will all participate in the efforts for clean ports and green shipping (file photo)

Published Mar 16, 2023 5:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

Representatives from the state of California and the government of Japan signed agreements to collaborate on clean ports and shipping including establishing green shipping corridors during a trade mission to Japan. The initiative was followed with a second agreement between the ports of Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Yokohama as part of the broad effort to collaborate on enhancing the global supply chain and addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The ports of California and Japan help power the global economy and will now help power a new era of clean energy, clean transportation, and good-paying green jobs,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom who was represented by the state’s Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and business leaders including the executive directors of the state’s three largest ports.

The letter of intent signed in Tokyo calls for deepening cooperation, information-sharing, and discussion of best practices between the governments of California and Japan to support the development of green shipping corridors, expand offshore wind, and cut planet-warming pollution at ports in Japan and California. The initiative looks to build on trade and climate agreements launched between the state and Japan a year ago.

As part of the new agreement, the California State Transportation Agency will support green shipping corridors, port decarbonization, and the deployment of zero-emission transportation through the $1.2 billion Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, with awards for the one-time program scheduled to be announced later this month. In addition, the Japanese ministry along with GO-Biz, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission, 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.

The announcement of the broader agreement was followed by the signing of separate Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) by the Port of Los Angeles with the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Yokohama to collaborate on sustainability and environmental issues.

The MOUs with the two ports call for cooperation and sharing of best practices on environmental and sustainability initiatives, including the digitation of the supply chain to optimize efficiency and reduce port operational impacts. Both the ports of Tokyo and Yokohama also agreed to establish a Green Shipping Corridor partnership with the Port of Los Angeles in the coming year, an initiative aimed at reducing emissions along their respective trade routes and promoting low- and zero-carbon ships and fuels. The Port of Los Angeles has already established similar partnerships with the ports of Shanghai and Singapore.

In addition to strengthening trade routes, maritime operational supply chain efficiencies, and environmental sustainability, other specific areas of cooperation identified under the two agreements include the testing and deployment of zero-emission vehicles, cargo handling equipment and vessels; exploring energy use and alternative energy sources; and cooperating on initiatives related to pollution-reduction technologies for terminals, ocean-going vessels, and drayage trucks.

“Global cooperation is critical if we are to make meaningful progress toward a cleaner and more sustainable maritime industry,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Port of Los Angeles is proud of the role it has played in advancing port-related environmental technologies and supply chain decarbonization solutions, but we can do so much more with ports and other international stakeholders working together.”