SAN FRANCISCO – Members of the Newsom Administration joined Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, foreign dignitaries and leaders of major seaports at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit event today to advance the state’s commitment to zero-emission port and shipping activities and develop additional partnerships along vital trade corridors that power the global economy.
Hosted by the California Association of Port Authorities, the event brought together some of California’s most significant trade partners – the state’s two-way trade with APEC member economies totaled $536 billion last year, or 77.2% of all California trade – and served as a platform to highlight the state’s efforts to rapidly cut the sector’s carbon footprint. International maritime shipping accounts for roughly 3% of planet-warming pollution worldwide.
“As a global leader in clean transportation and America’s economic gateway to Asia, California has made significant progress to electrify port operations and establish green shipping corridors, but this is only the starting point if we’re serious about tackling the climate crisis,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We need to continue charging full speed ahead and forging even more trans-Pacific partnerships to help power our economies and usher in a new era of clean energy, clean transportation and good-paying green jobs.”
In just the past year, the Newsom Administration has forged numerous climate compacts with governments in China, Australia and Japan focused on electrification and low-carbon green growth, and California ports have inked nine different agreements with ports throughout the Asia-Pacific region to establish green shipping corridors. Notably, last month the Port of Los Angeles signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Guangzhou to partner on sustainability initiatives on the same day Governor Newsom visited the Chinese city.
“Bolstered by historic investments and strong state support, California’s ports are leading the nation in the transition to zero-emission operations and forging alliances that expand and strengthen our influence as a global leader in clean transportation,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin.
“In many ways, California’s future begins at our ports – places that drive the interconnection with so many of our APEC partners across commerce and trade, and that provide the ecosystem for those partners to build upon one another’s investments to drive sustainable growth and decarbonization,” said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to the Governor and Director of GO-Biz. “The state’s recent, historic supply chain investments will not only support our drive to realize that sustainable future, but also improve efficiency and direct access to our ports for those who use them every day including our industry leaders, small businesses, and international trade partners.”
Other significant recent developments mentioned during the APEC event included:
- In May, California ports signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the California Port Data Partnership, to jointly advance computerized and cloud-based data interoperability with a common goal of supporting improved freight system resilience, goods movement efficiency, emissions reduction and economic competitiveness. The MOU and partnership will serve as the basis of cooperation for $27 million in state grant funds from GO-Biz for data system development.
- In July, Governor Newsom announced a historic $1.2 billion port and freight infrastructure package, including $450 million in zero-emission investments.
- Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that California will receive up to $1.2 billion to establish a national hydrogen hub to accelerate the development and deployment of clean renewable hydrogen. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles – the largest port complex in the Western Hemisphere – are project partners and will receive a portion of the state’s grant funds to advance the use of hydrogen fuel in goods movement.
During the event, the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism released a summary report from the Port Decarbonization and Green Shipping Corridor Symposium held last month at the Port of Los Angeles.
CalSTA plans to use the report as a blueprint for more subnational partnerships with the 21 APEC members, which account for nearly 3 billion people, 60% of world GDP and nearly 50% of global trade. APEC economies represent 14 of the 15 top trading partners for California’s three largest container ports (Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland). Along with the economic benefits, increasing shipments to California is better for the environment and more efficient. According to a recent Pacific Merchant Shipping Association study, using U.S. West Coast ports for cargo originating from Asia reduces greenhouse gas emission by 19% compared to U.S. Gulf and Atlantic ports.
The event took place amid the backdrop of a rapidly changing supply chain since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following widespread disruptions that sent shockwaves throughout the world economy in 2021 and early 2022, global shipping and port activity has stabilized, with attention now shifting to making the supply chain more efficient and sustainable.
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