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COP27: Think Global, Act Local

March 13, 2023

The COP27 global conference is the place to be for everyone passionate about solving our climate crisis. Attendees discuss life-saving topics and solutions, ranging from renewable energy to biodiversity to finance and partnerships. COP27 was the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Egypt last November. The event brought together government officials, industry leaders, thought leaders, and scientists driving climate action. Sandra Kilroy, Senior Director of Environmental and Sustainability, was part of the Port of Seattle’s team led by Commissioner Sam Cho and Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed and including Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck. The team met key strategic partners, shared Port’s priorities, explored new opportunities, and, of course, had the opportunity to learn from other environmental leaders. 

Attending COP 27 allowed us to confirm our direction that Ports are part of the climate solution and need to be at the table.” said Sandra Kilroy. “With the growing momentum of decarbonization of maritime and aviation industries, COP 27 focused on building collaboration and partnerships around the globe that will be critical for success” she added. 

There were hundreds of individual sessions and presentations and Port of Seattle attendees joined conversations on transportation and fuel research, the clean energy economy, government incentives, policies, and more.  Excitedly, there was a lot of interest in the role of collaboration in maritime decarbonization and the Port’s announcement of a green corridor for cruise. 


Sandra Kilroy spoke on the role of collaboration and partnerships in maritime decarbonization during a panel with representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Port of Los Angeles, Blue Sky Maritime Coalition, and Vanderbilt Climate Change initiative.  

She shared that as a port we play only one piece of the overall effort to decarbonize the maritime industry and that is why collaboration across ports, government, and industry is critical. The Port of Seattle can create an environment where clean fuels can be successful. Then we need governments to set the right regulations and voluntary collaboration from industry stakeholders across the entire value chain — from fuels to ship infrastructure to cruise line operators. This is why we pushed for a coalition to develop the world’s first green corridor for cruise.  

Green corridors refer to shipping corridors between two or more ports where zero and low carbon emission technologies are supported. At the 2022 COP 26 the Clydebank Declaration was signed by many countries to create green corridors around the globe.  In 2023 the Port of Seattle, along with key partners, announced the launch of the first Green Cruise Corridor between Seattle and Alaska including ports of calls in British Columbia. This is the first and only green corridor focused on cruise, and this will be a key initiative in our Port goals to reach zero emissions for Port activities by 2050.   

The Port’s impact isn’t bound by state lines — our operations and influence span the region and the world. By pushing for change and progress locally, the Port is contributing to a larger coordinated effort to protect the planet and all the people who call it home

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