Surge In Idle Ships Brings Deadly Risks To Port Communities, Climate

Commercial Ships Expected in Record-Setting Numbers Outside Los Angeles and Long Beach
Date: September 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES (September 13, 2021) — has reported that ships drifting outside of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. were expected to hit a new all-time high of 50 ships, with more than 15 additional ships due to arrive by the end of this past weekend. August kicked off the start of “retail restocking season” and the surge of maritime imports continues to grow in preparation for a busy holiday season. This not only brings holiday gifts but also brings more toxic emissions, air pollution, and deadly risks to port communities.

The shipping industry emits an estimated 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. If it were a country, the shipping industry would be the sixth largest emitter, ahead of Germany. On its current trajectory, maritime trade is projected to grow by as much as 130% by 2050 over today’s trade volume.

Statement from Mandeera Wijetunga, Climate Campaigner, Southern California, Pacific Environment:

“Just like idling cars, fossil-fueled ships idling outside of our ports emit pollution that is bad for our air, bad for our communities, and compounds our climate crisis. Emissions from the shipping industry contribute to the worst impacts of climate change, choking the air around our port communities. The surge from ships restocking for the holiday season in the context of ongoing Covid-19 supply chain challenges has led to shocking levels of air pollution. It’s time for big retailers, like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and IKEA, to break their addiction to dirty ships and commit to zero-emission ships for our future, our children, and our health.”


Contact: Gwen Dobbs, Pacific Environment, [email protected], 202-329-9295

About Pacific Environment
Pacific Environment is a global environmental organization that protects communities and wildlife of the Pacific Rim. We support community leaders to fight climate change, protect the oceans, build just societies, and move away from fossil fuels toward a green economy.