New data from the Port of Los Angeles, America’s busiest shipping port, says harmful emissions there were cut by up to 76 percent between 2005 and 2011 – while its overall container shipping volume increased six percent. And the Port is reportedly three years ahead of its 2014 target goals to reduce two major shipping-related pollutants, diesel particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
“There’s no turning back,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz in a news release. “The benefits of environmental stewardship are clear and the Port will continue to lead the industry by growing green through innovation and collaboration with our stakeholders and partners.”
Several major shipping companies, including Maersk Line, Evergreen, Hamburg Süd North America, Inc., Hapag-Lloyd AG, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming have signed on to the ESI. And authorities for at least six ports in Texas have written letters in support of the ECA.
But not everything is smooth sailing. The multi-billion dollar cruise ship industry is looking for exemptions to the new regulations. According to Christine Duffy, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the requirements “pose great challenges" to the industry.
"Under current rules, the industry projects the number of cruise passengers visiting North American ports would fall by 2.2 million," said David Peikin, public affairs director with the association.
The drop in passengers translates to a $1.5 billion annual loss of potential revenue for local economies -- as well as nearly 14,000 potential jobs lost, Duffy and Peikin said.
Similar attempts to curb international aviation emissions, meanwhile, are running into strong opposition. Representatives from 17 countries recently met in Washington to discuss their opposition to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which imposes a carbon tax on airlines flying into and out of Europe.