Port of Seattle vows to meet Paris Agreement climate goals

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The Port of Seattle on Tuesday (June 27) announced that it has joined the national coalition ‘We Are Still In,’ an alliance of governments, colleges, and businesses committed to meeting the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

“We are actively cutting greenhouse gas emissions from Port operations and working with our tenants to assist them in reducing their GHG emissions,” said Port Commissioner John Creighton. “Leadership to make our carbon footprint smaller is crucial to reducing the threat of global temperature rise.”

The Commission also pledged support for Climate Neutral Now, a United Nations-led initiative to drive more voluntary climate action. Airports participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program are pledging to become carbon neutral and will document their progress through ACA.

“Seattle-Tacoma International Airport became the first airport in North America to be certified for reducing carbon under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program,” said Port Commissioner Fred Felleman. “Through this pledge today, we continue to demonstrate our climate leadership.”

The Port’s emission reduction goals mirror those in the Paris Agreement: a 50-percent reduction by 2030 and a 100-percent-or-more reduction by 2050, compared to 2005 emission levels.

Port of Seattle Carbon-Reduction Initiatives:

  • Increased use of clean energy sources, including renewable natural gas, solar, and wind power
  • Set goals to meet all growth in energy usage through conservation and renewable sources
  • Conducted the first comprehensive greenhouse gas study by an airport and became the first airport in North America to be certified for reducing carbon emissions
  • Installed 48 electric-vehicle charging stations in the airport garage, the most of any airport in North America
  • Required taxi and rideshare drivers serving the airport to use alternative fuel vehicles or vehicles that have high-efficiency engines of 45 miles per gallon or better
  • Electrified the majority of ground support equipment at Sea-Tac Airport
  • Installed pre-conditioned air and electrical systems so that planes no longer have to run their engines while at the gates
  • Mandated that all cruise ships and other large vessels plug into electric power or burn low-sulfur diesel while at berth
  • Collaborated with the ports of Tacoma and Vancouver, BC on the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, improving air quality in the entire Salish Sea air shed
  • Worked with drayage truck drivers to scrap more than 200 of the dirtiest trucks and retrofit all others with modern emissions control systems
  • Implemented a new, stricter truck emissions program that will require all truckers using Port facilities to drive trucks that have 2007 truck emissions technology or better

More information about the Port’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions is available at www.portseattle.org/environmental

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9 Responses to “Port of Seattle vows to meet Paris Agreement climate goals”
  1. not impressed says:

    Why must we pay property taxes toward the Port of Seattle? They are just puppets for multi-billion dollar corporations and seem to have little concern for their neihbors.

  2. Seahurst resident says:

    Fantastic initiative, but don’t forget the other half of the agreement. Subsidize a port in a third world country to help them achieve the same goal. So, Port of Seattle put your money where you mouth is and donate millions of dollars to ports in Ghana and Gabon, for example.

    Also begin improving the world closer home. Don’t pollute and disturb the wildlife in the Puget Sound by sending your flights over the west of Burien.

  3. Eagle says:

    Great message and great news for the residents of Burien and all neighboring cities of SEATAC. Thank you

  4. Lee Moyer says:

    It’s nice to require efficient taxi vehicles, but by prohibiting delivering taxis from picking up passengers at the airport forces a round trip for a one way fare. Port policy cuts their effective mileage in half. The policy is the opposite of fuel efficient.

    • Clean it up! says:

      Good point Lee. Taking a taxi/Uber to the Burien Transit Center and a Sound Transit #560 to the airport, works for me. And definitely costs less, especially as a senior.

  5. Debi Wagner says:

    They are cutting emissions in some areas but are significantly increasing in others. The Port is ignoring the elephant in the room. Aircraft are 90% of the climate contributor at Sea-Tac but not included in any agreement and expected to double in the next 17 years. Already 25% of the county total and climbing by 10% per year aviation threatens to undo all climate reduction strategies in all other sectors in the county and climb to 50% of the county total by 2034. One of the strategies of the Energy and Sustainability Committee was to inform the public, not misinform. If you really care about climate, tell the truth. If citizens care about reduction, teleconference or take the train, its the least producing per passenger mile.

    • Captain obvious says:


      Looks like cow burps and farts could get just as bad as air planes.

    • Matthys van Leeuwen says:

      Debi makes a good point. The vessels that coming into the seaport are polluting heavily and the airplanes are also the culprits. It is certainly all about the economic activity, but while it looks good to have low polluting trucks running on the ground while the in- and outflow are the biggest perpetrators.

      It will require large changes to our infrastructure to make room for a greener environment, such as high speed trains, separated bike lanes etc. Europe is much more enabled to achieve the Paris agreement goal than America is.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      You are right. It is nice the port is improving all those ancillary activities but the real carbon emission problem is from the actual aircraft and at this point the only feasible action we can take is to reduce air travel. Maybe we need a passenger mile tax (5 cents?) that raises money to promote high speed rail and other alternatives and discourages air travel at the same time.
      Technology has made commercial jets much quieter but it is not likely to make similar improvements in fuel efficiency.

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