Port of Oakland, Japanese Officials Discuss Decarbonization Efforts

From left: Japanese Ministry – Director of International Policy Tomohiro Yamane; Deputy Consul General Hajime Kishimori; Consulate General Yasushi Noguchi; Director General of Ports and Harbor Bureau, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Osamu Horita; Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao; President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Barbara Leslie; Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Toks Omishakin. Photo via Port of Oakland.

A delegation of Japanese Ministry officials and representatives from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) met with the Port of Oakland in May to discuss initiatives to reach zero emissions from seaport operations.

The meeting was a follow-up to a clean energy trade mission to Japan in March where California policymakers, decisionmakers and business executives met to exchange ideas about tackling climate change, growing green energy and creating new investment and trade opportunities.

As a major U.S. West Coast seaport, Port of Oakland officials were part of the California delegation and discussions.

Japan’s Director General of Ports and Harbor Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism talked about his country’s goal to reach carbon neutral port operations by 2050. Osamu Horita and CalSTA Secretary Toks Omishakin were on hand to hear about the progress made by the Port of Oakland on its road to zero emissions.

Port officials shared information on the electrification of Oakland’s seaport, a turning basins widening project and the $175 million grade separation project, all intended to increase efficiency and reduce congestion while reducing emissions. The port also talked about grant funding applications to help finance green initiatives that support cutting diesel emissions and greenhouse gases from its maritime operations.

“We are excited for the opportunity to join in this partnership to pursue our shared goal of decarbonizing port operations,” Oakland Board of Port Commissioners President Barbara Leslie said. “We hope this new collaborative effort will deepen cooperation in our industry to reach our zero-emissions goal.”

“For the Port of Oakland’s part, we are proud of the progress we have been able to achieve to drastically reduce emissions from port maritime operations including diesel particulate matter by 86%,” she added.

Japan is the top destination for cargo that leaves the Port of Oakland, accounting for 16% of the seaport’s exports.