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Port of Long Beach policy move towards LNG bunkering may ‘escalate’ global warming

26 Jan 2023

The Port of Long Beach (POLB) Board of Harbor Commissioners has recently unanimously approved a climate policy known as the Zero Emissions, Energy Resilient Operations (ZEERO) Policy, according to environmental organization Pacific Environment.

As part of its ZEERO policy, the Harbor Department committed to “endeavor in its activities” to “accelerate deployment of the lowest carbon emission alternatives for ocean going vessels through incentives and adequate availability of cleaner fuel bunkering facilities”, said Pacific Environment in a statement to Manifold Times.

While ZEERO may appear promising on paper, POLB’s current policy regarding what constitutes a “clean shipping fuel” has included an alarming turn toward a fossil fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the ZEERO policy represents implicit approval for POLB move forward with permanent LNG bunkering facilities in Long Beach, it explained.

“Indeed, last year the Port of Long Beach called the first LNG ship to refuel on the West Coast, refuelling via trucks,” stated Pacific Environment.

“LNG is the fossil fuel industry’s greenwashed solution for shipping decarbonization. While it emits less carbon dioxide and some air pollutants than traditional heavy fuel oil, LNG is a fossil fuel that emits methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more powerful in climate warming effect than carbon dioxide on a shorter timescale.

“In other words, despite POLB’s claim to be advancing zero-emissions, the ZEERO policy may escalate global warming exponentially in the coming decades.”

Related: Port of Long Beach celebrates inaugural LNG bunkering op with Pasha Hawaii “MV George III”


Photo credit: Port of Long Beach
Published: 26 January, 2023

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