President Biden, be the solution! Sign an executive order to END ship & port pollution

President Joe Biden

In recent weeks, the Biden administration has made tremendous strides in combating climate change pollution. Now, with the stroke of his pen, President Biden can prioritize the health of portside communities and fight the climate crisis by signing an executive order accelerating action to end ship and port pollution.

Ocean shipping plays a key role in the global economy, yet shipping emissions can be deadly: contributing to 6 million childhood asthma cases and more than an estimated 250,000 premature deaths globally each year. That’s why we need President Biden to use his federal power to take a stance now and help eliminate toxic shipping emissions, advance environmental justice, create good-paying union jobs and — most importantly — save lives.

Take action: Sign your name below!

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San Francisco, CA

To: President Joe Biden
From: [Your Name]

President Biden,

We write to urge you to issue an Executive Order to accelerate our transition to zero-emission ocean shipping in the United States and abroad. An Executive Order for decarbonizing the maritime sector ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8 would build on the important steps your administration has already taken to accelerate shipping decarbonization domestically. To date, 45 organizations have signed a letter advocating for an Executive Order to decarbonize the shipping sector. We encourage you to take action now to move the shipping sector toward a zero-emissions future.

Emitting nearly 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and contributing to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the shipping industry is a major polluter. If the shipping industry were a country, it would be the sixth largest greenhouse gas polluter in the world. These emissions not only have an immense impact on our climate but also on the frontline communities living adjacent to ports.

Globally, shipping and port emissions cause an estimated 250,000 premature deaths and 6 million cases of childhood asthma each year. Eliminating emissions from shipping and ports is vitally important for the health and well-being of the people living around them, which are often communities that are already experiencing racial discrimination, marginalization and economic inequality.

We thank you for the steps you have already taken through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to eliminate these harmful emissions from the shipping sector and transition the sector to a zero-emissions future, and we urge you to continue your climate and environmental justice legacy by announcing an Executive Order with the following commitments:

- Use existing Clean Air Act authority to establish a goal-based fuel standard for ships calling on U.S. ports.
- Use existing authorities to eliminate in-port ship emissions by 2030.
- Immediately establish a monitoring, reporting and verification mechanism to collect fuel consumption and emissions data from all ships that traverse U.S. waters and use U.S. ports, building a baseline for emissions management.
- Direct resources toward the electrification and quieting of the U.S. federal ferry and harbor craft fleet.
- Support U.S. shipbuilders and maritime stakeholders to build low- and zero-emission and quiet marine vessels.
- Support the development, demonstration, and value chains of zero-emission alternative fuels and technologies for the maritime sector.
- Phase out and ban the use of sulfur scrubbers on ships in U.S. waters.

These commitments, as outlined in more detail within the letter would advance your administration’s leadership and commitment to maritime shipping decarbonization and ensure that the shipping sector is on a pathway that avoids the worst impacts of the climate crisis and protects port communities. We urge you to take executive action by World Oceans Day on June 8 to protect the climate and port communities.