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Green shipping corridors between Korea, U.S. and Japan can reduce emissions equivalent to 9 million cars, study reveals

Implementing the green corridor initiative between key ports in South Korea, the United States and Japan is critical to accelerating the global shipping decarbonization, according to a new report from Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC).

The report finds that green corridors between the countries’ top two busiest routes (Busan-Tokyo and Yokohama; Busan-Los Angeles and Long Beach) can reduce up to 41.3 million tCO2 each year—equivalent to annual emissions from over 9 million passenger vehicles in the United States.

The green shipping corridor initiative is a global effort to align the shipping industry with the 1.5°C trajectory. It aims to create maritime routes in which mainly zero-emission ships travel, run ports with 100 percent renewable energy, and enforce mandatory use of on-shore power for docked vessels.

The report underscores the importance of targeting the three global economic powers that already have established close trading relations.

“Reducing GHG emissions from global maritime shipping will require coordinated multilateral commitments and actions. By leveraging the strong diplomatic and political partnership between South Korea, the United States and Japan, the three countries can kickstart the international effort to decarbonize the shipping industry,” said John Yum, the shipping program lead at SFOC.

“Green shipping corridor is about fundamental reductions leading to zero emissions in the shipping routes, rather than offsetting mechanisms, and shifting away from the existing fossil fuel-based solutions.”

The report comes after the announcement during COP28 that South Korea and the United States will work to implement cross-country green shipping corridors between several key ports, which are Ports of Busan, Ulsan, Masan, Seattle, Tacoma and Everett. Last July, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) strengthened the global shipping emissions target to 40% by 2030, compared with 2008 levels.

Shipping emissions have risen 20% over the last decade. In order to accelerate decarbonization, the International Maritime Organization and its members are seeking to implement stronger trade policies, regulations, and carbon taxes to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the shipping sector.
Source: Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC)

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