Major shipping carriers Evergreen, Hamburg Sud North America, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming are the inaugural participants in the Port of Los Angeles’ Environmental Ship Index, an international clean air incentives program that rewards ocean carriers for bringing their newest and cleanest vessels to port.
The shipping carriers have registered for the global program and will begin receiving incentives later this year.
The Port of Los Angeles has committed $450,000 to jumpstart the voluntary program. Vessel operators will be rewarded for voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce emissions from ships beyond the regulatory environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization.
The port, which adopted the clean air incentives program in May, estimates that if the predicted 30 percent of vessels qualify for participation, this would cut diesel particulate matter emissions by 16 tons within the first year and reduce emissions of other pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and sulfur oxides.
The Port of Los Angeles is the first seaport in North America and the Pacific Rim to agree to a program based on the Environmental Ship Index, a web-based tool already used at 14 European ports and developed through the International Association of Ports & Harbors’ World Ports Climate Initiative.
The port developed its ESI with input from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and other stakeholders. Its program also conforms to the San Pedro Bay Clean Ports Air Action Plan, which sets specific bay-wide targets for near-term pollution reduction through 2014 and long-term objectives through 2023.
The Port of Los Angeles reported this month that its cumulative emissions have dropped as much as 76 percent while container volumes increase 6 percent between 2005 and 2011. On a year-to-year basis, the port’s 2011 Inventory of Air Emissions shows a decrease up to 7 percent of emissions.