Background

The Biden administration announced this week the launch of the Green Shipping Challenge, which encourages governments, ports, and companies to prepare commitments to spur the transition to green shipping. As part of this initiative more than 40 major announcements were made at the recent 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, addressing innovations for ships, expansion in low- or zero-emission fuels, and policies to help promote the uptake of next-generation vessels.

According to the State Department, one of the ways the U.S. plans to advance this program is by promoting green shipping corridors, which connect major port hubs where zero-emissions solutions and fuels have been demonstrated and supported. Related measures will include the following.

- a feasibility study to explore the potential of creating a green shipping corridor between major cargo ports in U.S. and Korea

- working to facilitate the establishment of a Great Lakes Green Shipping Corridor Network with Canada

- a task force to support the establishment of green shipping corridors between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, including through demonstration projects

- an online platform with resources and tools that aim to streamline the formation and deployment of green shipping corridors globally, including a route tracker, a tool to help stakeholders connect, and a library of related reports and analyses

- $1.5 million for a State Department project to support feasibility studies for green shipping corridors involving developing countries and symposia on green shipping corridor opportunities and implementation

Other measures the U.S. has taken or intends to take under the Green Shipping Challenge include the following.

- The U.S. is working on an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping to zero no later than 2050 and to establish goals for 2030 and 2040 that align with that target.

- The Inflation Reduction Act includes a new $3 billion rebate and grant program to provide funding for zero-emission port equipment or technology, along with technical assistance for electrification and emissions reductions planning and port climate action plan development.

- The Department of Transportation has announced more than $703 million to fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory that will help improve supply chain reliability through increased port capacity and resilience, more efficient operations, reduced port emissions, and new workforce opportunities.

- The Biden administration will release a transportation sector decarbonization blueprint in early 2023 and then start work on a maritime decarbonization strategy that will identify the pathways for, and the agency-specific actions that can support, decarbonization of the domestic maritime sector.

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