Seven Large Ports Join Climate Advocacy Effort

Port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit, September 13 (Alex Lutz / Twitter)

Published Sep 13, 2018 12:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

At the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the CEO of the Port of Rotterdam announced that he is joining the ports of Hamburg, Barcelona, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Antwerp on an initiative to address global warming. Together, these port authorities are calling on other seaports, the shipping industry, governments and regulators to move towards the Paris Agreement's goals for emissions reduction. 

"We wish to collaborate with the legislature and regulator in order to come up with global and regional appropriate aspirational policies and regulations," said Port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein in a keynote address at the summit. "We believe that by addressing and calling upon the shipping industry and ports to join us, we can truly make a difference."

According to a statement issued by the Port of Rotterdam, the seven ports in the new "World Ports Climate Action Program" will call on governments to adopt international policies to implement carbon pricing - a measure that has been opposed by representatives of the shipping industry, at least within the context of Europe's regional Emissions Trading System. This climate advocacy goal extends well beyond the aims of earlier port-coalition groups, like the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP), which expresses support for the Paris Agreement but focuses on what ports can do within their own gates.

In addition to their ambitious advocacy efforts, the members of the new World Ports Climate Action Program will pursue five quayside actions to increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions:

- increase efficiency of supply chains using digital tools;
- advance common and ambitious public policy approaches aimed at reducing emissions within larger geographic areas;
- accelerate development of in-port, renewable power-to-ship solutions and other zero emission solutions;
- accelerate the development of commercially viable, sustainable low-carbon fuels for maritime transport, and the infrastructure for electrification of ship propulsion systems.
- and accelerate efforts to fully decarbonize cargo-handling facilities in their ports.