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Busan, Pacific Northwest Seaports Partner on Decarbonization

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The Northwest Seaport Alliance announced its newest decarbonization effort as part of the Green Shipping Challenge at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), the marine cargo partnership between the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Seattle, announced its partnership with the Republic of Korea, the Busan Port Authority, and the United States Government to study the feasibility of creating a green cargo shipping corridor between the NWSA and the Busan Port Authority’s cargo gateways.

The Green Shipping Challenge is a new initiative by the United States and Norway to highlight global actions and concrete steps being taken to decarbonize the international shipping industry. As part of this launch, the U.S. State Department invited the NWSA to partner on a feasibility study of a potential green corridor between Seattle-Tacoma and Busan, South Korea. Over the next year, this study will include experts from three U.S. national labs, the Maersk McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, and staff from the two cargo gateways exploring the creation this green corridor, including potential sources of alternative ship fuels, and existing and potential future fueling infrastructure.

Commissioner Sam Cho traveled to the convention to announce the NWSA’s participation in the Green Shipping Challenge Announcement and advocate for further decarbonization efforts across the maritime industry. Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed will join the second half of the conference to continue these efforts and discuss the green corridor in greater detail.

“It was an honor to announce the NWSA’s participation in the Green Shipping Challenge alongside world leaders and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry,” said NWSA Managing Member Sam Cho. “Ports operate in a global network and partnerships, such as the one between The Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Busan Port Authority, will be critical to driving decarbonization efforts across the globe.”

Other world leaders in attendance at the Green Shipping Challenge Initiative launch included the Prime Ministers of Norway, Spain and Special Climate Envoys from South Korea, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore among many others.

The Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma and the NWSA have made the voluntary commitment to reduce maritime emissions to zero by 2050 or sooner as part of The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. The three ports are actively investing in decarbonization efforts including adding shore power capability at all international container terminals, operating zero-emission cargo handling equipment, and transitioning the drayage fleet serving our north and south harbors to zero-emission trucks.

“The establishment of a green shipping corridor aligns well with our commitment to the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. We are well on our way to decarbonizing operations in our harbors and are excited about the partnership with the Busan Port Authority and the potential to reduce our emission impact globally,” stated NWSA Managing Member Deanna Keller.

The United States Department of State invited port leaders to attend COP 27 and promote its recent work related to reducing emissions that lead to climate change. The U.S. Department of State defines “green corridors” as “maritime routes that showcase low- and zero-emission lifecycle fuels and technologies with the ambition to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions across all aspects of the corridor in support of sector-wide decarbonization no later than 2050.”

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