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LOS ANGELES — California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced that the Port of Los Angeles will take several important steps to “identify and reduce” the significant greenhouse gases generated at the Port of Los Angeles. The agreement, which was approved last night by the Harbor Commission, specifically addresses the global warming impact of the TraPac terminal expansion.
“This path breaking agreement calls for several important steps that will identify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with maritime operations at the Port of Los Angeles,” Attorney General Brown told a news conference today with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Under the agreement, the port will conduct a comprehensive inventory of port-related greenhouse gases—-tracking these emissions from their foreign sources to domestic distribution points throughout the United States. The port will annually report this data to the California Climate Action Registry, a program which gathers baselines emissions data about greenhouse gases generated in California. This annual report will include:
• Emissions of all ships bound to and from the Port of Los Angeles terminals, encompassing points of origin and destination
• Emissions of all rail transit to and from Port terminals, encompassing major rail cargo destination and distribution points in the United States
• Emissions of all truck transit to and from Port terminals, encompassing major truck destinations and distribution points
The port-wide inventory will be conducted annually until AB 32 regulations become effective.
“Today’s agreement demonstrates the commitment of the City and Port of Los Angeles to take specific and concrete steps to fight global warming,” Brown said.
Under the agreement the Port will also construct a 10 Mega-Watt photovoltaic solar system to offset approximately 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. The Port is also adopting a program to use electricity, rather than conventional fossil fuels, to power ocean-going vessels when in port.
Imports of foreign goods are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. A recent study published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers estimated that the annual emissions associated with the foreign manufacture and importation of electronic goods into the United States total approximately 470 million metric tons—-the equivalent of nearly all the emissions from the State of California. Ocean-going vessels alone emit more CO2 emissions than any nation in the world except the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India and Germany. These emissions are projected to increase nearly 75% during the next 20 years.
The need for action to combat climate disruption is urgent. Last month, Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chief of the Noble-prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that, “if there’s no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that while industrialized countries account for about 80% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, the poorest nations will suffer the most severe consequences of climate change. Increased flooding from glacier melting could reduce freshwater availability for Central, South, East, and South-East Asia, potentially harming more than a billion people by 2050. Disruption of freshwater access in Africa could decrease agricultural production and may threaten up to 250 million people by 2020. Latin America will likely see a drop in crop productivity due to global warming, leading to an increased risk of starvation.
A copy of the agreement is attached.