Environment & Science

LA, Long Beach set new zero emissions targets for ports

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (right) and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (left) sign a
joint declaration on Monday, June 12, 2017, setting environmental goals for their respective ports
and reaffirming their commitment to adopting the Paris climate agreement goals.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (right) and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (left) sign a joint declaration on Monday, June 12, 2017, setting environmental goals for their respective ports and reaffirming their commitment to adopting the Paris climate agreement goals.
Courtesy of Port of Los Angeles

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach pledged Monday to strengthen their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the country's two largest ports, signing a pact to switch to zero-emissions terminal equipment and trucks by 2030 and 2035, respectively.

Since the launch of their Clean Air Action Plan in 2006, the ports of L.A. and Long Beach have reduced emissions while trade volume has increased 7 percent, according to a statement from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's office. The new agreement follows an update to that plan by the ports.

The mayors positioned the move as a response to President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, noting that L.A. and other cities would continue to do their part to meet the international agreement's goals and reduce air pollutants that negatively impact the lives of people living near the ports.

"Washington may not care about clean air or think that environmental justice for people who live near our ports is anything to be concerned about, but you can be damned sure that we do," Garcetti said. "These are our communities, and we're not letting anyone move us backward."

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The announcement comes amid a smoggy start to June. As KPCC recently reported, four of the first five days this month exceeded federal clean air standards — mainly due to heavy duty diesel trucks.

The updated clean air plan calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from port-related sources to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia called the ports' objectives "crucial."

"The success of our ports has proven that you don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy," he said.

A timeline for the new goals is expected in the next two weeks. The plan should be fully updated by November. 

The two mayors are also launching the Green Ports collaborative, which will bring together major ports along the West Coast to work towards greener operations.