Fifty-five of the world’s key ports, acknowledging their unique capacity as key hubs in global supply chains, have come together in a commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while continuing their role as transportation and economic centers.
In recognizing their potential to combat climate change, the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) member ports may change the way goods are moved across oceans and within harbors.
Reducing Greenhouse Gases on Land: C40 Cities
The Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, also known as the C40 cities, consists of 40 of the world’s largest cities. In October 2005, representatives of those cities met in London to discuss joiningforces to tackle global warming and climate change. At the end of the conference, a communiqué was signed which recognized the need for cities to cooperate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How WPCI Began
On April 16, 2008, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) requested its Port Environment Committee, in consultation with regional Port Organizations, to provide a mechanism for assisting the ports to combat climate change.
The C40 World Ports Climate Declaration was adopted in July 2008, as 55 ports from all over the world came together at the C40 World Ports Climate Conference in Rotterdam to commit to jointly reduce the threat of global climate change.
The WPCI was formally launched at the symposium which was hosted by the Port of Los Angeles and the IAPH Port Environment Committee on November 24 and 25, 2008, as a follow-up to the Rotterdam conference.
WPCI, under auspices of the C40 Cities, supported by the Clinton Climate Initiative, recognizes that ports have many opportunities and the responsibility to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They can do this through influencing the sustainability of supply chains, taking into account local circumstances and varying port management structures.
More than 15 ports and 50 participants from all over the world convened to discuss how the world’s major ports can continue to play their key transportation and economic roles, while reducing their carbon footprint.
Attended by some 800 persons from 50 countries across seven continents, the IAPH biennial world ports summit held in Houston during Spring 2007 made an early commitment to the ports’ efforts to reduce air pollution and fight global warming. At the closing session on May 4, 2007, the attendees unanimously adopted a resolution calling for ports to promote clean air programs to better sustain development of the global society.
Emerging from the Los Angeles Symposium were these chief goals:
- Deepen the support for WPCI among the world’s ports
- Promote information sharing
- Establish a framework for CO2 footprint inventory and management
- Establish Environmental Ship Indexing and increase support for this measurement
- Organize global support for WPCI goals among regional and global organizations