Los Angeles Councilmember Nithya Raman yesterday introduced a resolution calling on Los Angeles’ top maritime importers — including Walmart, Ashley Furniture, Target, Dole, Home Depot, Chiquita, IKEA, Amazon, Samsung, Nike, LG, Redbull, Family Dollar, Williams-Sonoma, and Lowes— to commit to making all port calls to the San Pedro Port Complex, which includes the Port of Los Angeles, on 100% zero-emission ships by 2030.
The resolution also would include in the City of Los Angeles’s 2021-2022 State Legislative Program support for legislation or administrative action to rapidly decarbonize the maritime shipping industry and to create zero-emission shipping corridors along the California coast, the West Coast of the United States, and across the trans-Pacific trade route.
A resolution in a city council, even a city as large as L.A. is a long way from being legislation or regulation. Still, the move puts shipping on notice that it is no longer operating over the horizon and free from public scrutiny — and it also adds to the pressure on shipping’s customers, to look to the greenest of their supply chains,
“Pollution from ships often goes overlooked in our greater conversations on climate change, but the reality is that ship pollution contributes to an estimated 260,000 premature deaths each year globally, and at least 1,300 premature deaths annually in Los Angeles and Long Beach alone,” said Councilmember Raman. “Our low-income communities of color living near ports are suffering from higher rates of childhood asthma, cancer, and more, and we simply do not have time to waste to reverse the damage. This resolution is one step towards ensuring we are doing everything in our power to create healthy, breathable port communities.”