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Exploring a Green Corridor for Cruise from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska

On May 17, 2022, the Port of Seattle, City and Borough of Juneau, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Royal Caribbean Group, Cruise Lines International Association, the Global Maritime Forum, Blue Sky Maritime Coalition, and Washington Maritime Blue launched a collaborative effort to explore the feasibility of a maritime green corridor aimed at accelerating the deployment of zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission ships and operations between Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. The communities of Sitka, Skagway, and Haines in Alaska and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority have also joined the partnership. 

What is a Green Corridor?

A green corridor is a shipping route where zero greenhouse gas solutions are considered, demonstrated and supported.  Green corridors—through collaboration across sectors—establish the technological, economic, and regulatory feasibility needed to accelerate implementation of low and ultimately zero GHG emission vessels.

In 2021, twenty-four countries, including the United States and Canada, signed the Clydebank Declaration and in doing so, committed to support the establishment of at least six green corridors by 2025 while aiming to scale up activity in future years.

Green corridors are a new concept and leaders are needed to step forward and make this vision a reality. Globally, there is not yet a shared understanding of what it means for a maritime corridor to be “green” nor are there well-documented, or one-size-fits-all, solutions to achieve a green corridor.

Why create a Green Corridor to Alaska? 

Four powerful reasons make the Pacific Northwest to Alaska corridor the right home for the world's first green corridor project to include cruise ships. 

Climate Urgency

  • Plans are already underway for Pacific Northwest ports and industry to chart a course to zero-emissions. Ambitious climate action is needed now to ensure our collective success in the future.

  • Actions that mitigate climate change will help preserve the sensitive habitats that people cruise to see.

Environmental Justice

  • A green corridor and the transition away from fossil fuels can accelerate environmental justice for near-port communities that experience more exposure to air pollution and the effects of a changing climate. 

Economic Opportunity

  •  A green corridor creates potential for maritime jobs and industries to be at the center for the decarbonization transition. 

We are Ready

  • The Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor project builds on a history of environmental leadership and innovation in the region with successful partnerships among ports and the cruise industry toward environmental action. 

  • The Pacific Northwest is a highly diversified hub for maritime research and development, innovation, engineering, and for private sector companies pioneering clean technologies and maritime fuels.

  • National, state, and provincial laws, programs, and funding opportunities are already in place that support reducing carbon emissions from transportation.

  • A distinct maritime corridor exists between Puget Sound and Alaska with regularly scheduled vessel calls by cruise, commercial fishing, cargo, ferries, and tug industries.

Read more in the Green Corridor one-pager

About the Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor Project

The Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor (PNW2AK) project will launch a collaborative effort led by ports, industry, governments, and de-carbonization subject matter experts to explore a maritime green corridor aimed at accelerating the deployment of zero GHG emission ships and operations between Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington.

Project partners commit to:

  • Working together to explore the feasibility of a green corridor in the Pacific Northwest of North America, including, but not limited to, further defining the scope and application of the green corridor concept;

  • Enhancing and supporting the emission-reduction efforts already underway and using the green corridor as a testbed for low and zero greenhouse gas technologies and ships, as feasible; and

  • Working collaboratively to define the governance structures, terms, and frameworks needed to guide this regional effort.

Project Partners

The initial set of partners who signed on to the Pacific Northwest to Alaska Green Corridor are called “First Movers”, as these organizations are committed to taking early action and demonstrate the feasibility of a green corridor. 

While currently focused on cruise travel between Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska, the project may expand to other maritime sectors or other regional ports in the future. The initial focus, however, is on the cruise corridor as there are unique aspects of cruise travel to account for when assessing the feasibility of a zero-emission ship and corridor. We welcome interest from all sectors of the maritime industry and other regional ports.

Contact greencorridor@portseattle.org  to learn more about how to stay engaged.

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