Collaborative project – 2020 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy

Sustainable, innovative, and cooperative vision: The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy (Strategy) is an innovative collaboration among four ports – Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Northwest Seaport Alliance, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in British Columbia – to reduce and ultimately eliminate air and climate emissions from their seaport activities across the Georgia Strait-Puget Sound airshed. In 2020, the ports renewed the Strategy and embraced a bold, shared vision: “to phase out emissions from seaport-related activities by 2050, supporting cleaner air for our local communities and fulfilling our shared responsibility to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.”

Engagement: The ports worked together for over two years while engaging industry, government, and community partners to shape the Strategy and cultivate broad buy-in for the vision. As a result, we are hopeful that the Strategy will have a significant, positive impact on the sustainability of our ports, as well as on the communities in which they are embedded. The ports are committed to accountability and transparency, and will continue to engage stakeholders in implementation.

Impact: The Strategy addresses several Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goal 3 as ports work to eliminate port-related diesel emissions that contribute to public health risk and environmental health disparities in near-port communities; and, Goals 9, 11, 13, and 14 as the ports will engage a myriad of government and industry partners to upgrade infrastructure and develop new technologies to transition to zero-emissions maritime industries. The ports will measure progress through emissions inventories and report annually.

Leadership: The Strategy framework creates a model for how competing ports can work together toward a common goal. The ports cannot succeed in their vision alone and will continue to lead and convene partners across the port network to overcome the substantial technological, policy, and investment barriers to phasing out emissions.