The California Air Resources Board is updating its commercial harbor craft (small ship) regulation as part of its strategy to address the harms from the freight industry. This source category continues to contribute a large portion of health cancer risk to communities near ports.  In the areas surrounding the San Pedro Bay Ports, harbor craft constitute one of the top three sources of cancer risk attributable to diesel particulate matter exposure.

However, as written this rule will force ~10-14% of California’s commercial harbor craft to go to 100% zero emissions, while allowing the other 86-90% to upgrade to more efficient but diesel powered engines. Pacific Environment is pushing for the strongest harbor craft rule in California, so that it phases in a zero-emission transition before 2030.

The International Maritime Organization’s Fourth Greenhouse Gas Study found that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global shipping sector rose 10% from 2012 to 2018, with an exceptionally alarming increase in short term climate super pollutants: a 12% increase in black carbon emissions and a 150% increase in methane emissions. The shipping industry needs to close to fully decarbonized by 2035 to do its fair share to achieve the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C global warming target.

There is an immediate opportunity and imperative to push California to set a landmark zero emission harbor craft that other states can follow.

Pacific Environment is part of an alliance that is pushing for a quick transition to clean energy.

Coalition Letters to the California Air Resources Board