Even though America has pulled out of the Paris climate accord, there are people who feel that it is necessary to check Global warming because it is the source of many ills that the world is facing. Therefore, the initiatives taken by the authorities of Long Beach and Los Angeles ports is a step in the right direction.

It is as per the declaration signed last month by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. They had pledged to introduce zero emission at the ports and the proposal of Clean Air Action Plan would pave the way to achieve this goal.

The broad guidelines

Los Angeles Times reports that the plan envisages the replacement of all diesel trucks and cargo equipment with zero-emission technology over a time period of two decades. It will involve trucks that transport freight apart from trains and ships and add to the global warming. The estimated cost of the project would be around $14 billion. The ports had launched their go green activities nearly a decade back by phasing out sources of diesel pollution and the objective under the Clean Air Action Plan now is to expand it to cover all forms of internal combustion engines.

The actions taken over the last decade have reduced diesel emissions but, in spite of that, these ports remain Southern California’s largest single source of air pollution which is aggravated by the increase in international trade.

This has snowballed into a huge volume of shipping containers that move through the complex over a period of time since the mid-1990s. The net result is smog which gives rise to associated issues of health and well-being with possibilities of asthma and cancer.

Mixed reactions to the plan

The Clean Air Action Plan wants to switch over to zero-emission cargo-handling equipment by 2030 and trucks by 2035.

As to emission of port-related greenhouse gases, the plans are ambitious and extends to 2050 but the reaction of environmentalists is a mixed one. While some have welcomed several elements of the plan, they have heaped criticism on certain areas and want the authorities to concentrate on health issues that are attributable to air pollution.

Incidentally, most of the trucks used for transportation are powered by diesel and there are hardly any electric or hybrid vehicles – hence, it would be a Herculean task to achieve the targets. These ports handle nearly 40% of U.S. imports, and the hub offers employment to many people. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that their interests are protected.

On the plus side, the introduction of this policy would send a message to manufacturers and suppliers to concentrate and promote vehicles and equipment that are pollution free to negate the effects of global warming. This would be in the interest of society and an insurance for the future generation.