The Governments of Japan and the California State Transportation Agency, US, have signed a letter of intent (LoI) to reduce pollution at seaports and establish green shipping corridors.
The two parties signed the document during a weeklong US trade mission to Japan.
The LOI is based on a partnership to improve trade and climate activities between the two economies. It will also focus on the implementation of zero-emission transportation through the $1.2bn Port and Freight Infrastructure Programme.
The Japanese ministry will share expertise, as well as better practices to lower port-related pollution, with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.
They will also form strategies for offshore wind development, as well as zero-emission fuels and infrastructure.
“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. California is a global climate and economic leader, and I’m thankful to the Japanese Government for collaborating with us to help accelerate efforts to aggressively combat climate change on both sides of the Pacific and recognising that we need to get things done now because later is too late,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“We would like to take this letter of intent as an opportunity to deepen our cooperation with the State of California and strengthen our efforts to decarbonise our ports and create green shipping corridors,” commented Japan Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism state minister Toshiro Toyoda.
The LoI between California state and Japan was back by two separate Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) signed by the Port of Los Angeles with the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Yokohama to establish green shipping corridors.
“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 our largest partner in Japan, and the work to decarbonize shipping is very important to both ports,” said Shinya Hitomi, President and CEO, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation. “This agreement is a significant step forward as we work toward a common goal.”
The agreements were praised by pressure group Pacific Environment. Allyson Browne, Climate Campaign Manager for Ports, Pacific Environment said: “We applaud the collaboration between the Port of Los Angeles and Japanese Ports of Tokyo and Yokohama, and we urge these ports to focus on mandatory enforcement of the green shipping corridors, with interim targets to peak shipping emissions by 2025 and halve shipping emissions by 2030, in order to achieve 100% zero-emission shipping by 2040.
Other green corridor pacts have been signed between Los Angeles, Long Beach and Shanghai with Singapore also inking a similar agreement while South Korea’s largest port, Busan, agreed to form a green corridor to the Port of Tacoma last November.