Seattle, Juneau, Vancouver, cruise lines to explore 'green corridor'

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The Port of Seattle, Juneau, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and cruise lines are among those committing to explore the feasibility of the world’s first cruise-led ‘green corridor.’

Other parties to this First Mover Commitment include the Global Maritime Forum, Blue Sky Maritime Coalition and Washington Maritime Blue.

Maritime route of zero greenhouse gas emissions

A green corridor is a maritime route where zero greenhouse gas emission solutions are demonstrated and supported. Green corridors create the technological, economic and regulatory feasibility needed for zero greenhouse gas emission ships to succeed.

The First Mover Commitment was announced during the International Association of Ports and Harbors World Ports Conference in Vancouver, BC.

The cruise groups participating are Carnival Corp. and its brands including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn and Cunard; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and its brands Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises; and Royal Caribbean Group including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises. Cruise Lines International Association is also involved.

Collaborative effort

This collaborative effort is aimed at exploring the feasibility of a green corridor that could accelerate the deployment of zero greenhouse gas emission ships and operations between Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. Nearly 300 ships leave Seattle for Alaska in a six-month cruise season; Alaska hosts more than 600 cruises a year.

First Mover partners will leverage and support each other’s decarbonization work already underway and bring those resources and technological advancements to this focused and coordinated effort.

Partners agree to work together to explore the feasibility of a green corridor, to enhance and support the emission-reduction efforts already underway and use the green corridor as a testbed for low and zero greenhouse gas technologies and ships, as feasible, and to work collaboratively to define the governance structures, terms and frameworks needed to guide this regional effort.

'A new chapter for the cruise industry'

'This opens a new chapter for the cruise industry and each of our brands,' said Jan Swartz, group president of Holland America Group. 'Working together, we are pioneering a new frontier to help protect the environment as we continue our commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.'

'We’ve been proud to work with regional partners on important cross-border efforts such as the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, to phase out all port-related emissions by 2050, and through the ECHO Program, to reduce the impacts of commercial shipping on endangered whales,' said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. He added that the port looks forward to building on those efforts together with partners and stakeholders by exploring the green corridor concept.

Innovation needed

'The cruise industry is committed to pursuing net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,' added CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead. 'The First Mover Commitment in the Pacific Northwest is a demonstration of the collaboration and innovation needed between ports and the cruise industry to achieve our shared goals. We appreciate the opportunity to be one of the first partners in this initiative and welcome all sectors of the maritime industry to join this important effort.'

Royal Caribbean Group President/CEO Jason Liberty, NCLH President/CEO Frank Del Rio, Port of Seattle commissioners, Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt and officials of Global Maritime Forum, Blue Sky Maritime Coalition and Washington Maritime Blue all voiced their support for the effort.

In 2021, 24 countries, including the US and Canada, signed the Clydebank Declaration, committing to supporting the establishment of at least six green corridors by 2025 while aiming to scale up activity in future years. It is up to first movers to collaborate, define and implement the optimum pathway to get to zero.

Why the North Pacific?

Washington, British Columbia and Alaska are highly diversified hubs for maritime research and development, innovation, engineering and private sector companies pioneering clean technologies and maritime fuels. Alaska cruises are some of the most in-demand itineraries in the world. A maritime corridor already exists between Puget Sound and Alaska with regularly scheduled vessel calls by operators in the cruise, commercial fishing, cargo, ferries and tug industries.

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