Supply Chain Crisis Causes Highest Carbon Emission Rate Since 2008
- Carbon emissions at seaports have increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic, according to a report.
- The increase comes from an increase in consumer demand and congested ports during the supply chain crisis.
- According to the study, emissions from four of the world’s largest ports have increased 79% since the start of the pandemic.
The supply chain crisis is not only affecting shipping, it is also wreaking havoc on the environment.
Carbon emissions at major seaports have reached the highest rates since 2008, according to a recent report from Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore. Pollutant emissions at four of the world’s largest seaports – in places like Singapore, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Hamburg, Germany – have increased 79% since the start of the pandemic, according to the study.
And although shipping currently accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions – a higher rate than airplanes – scientists predict that at current rates it could be as high as 17% by 2050.
Pollutant emissions, which began to rise in response to increased consumer demand during COVID-19 shutdowns, have been further exacerbated by historic levels of port congestion. The arrears contribute to “an extended turnaround time” and prolonged idling, during which ships continue to emit noxious gases, according to the report.
Adding to the problem, the container ships – whose NTU report found the highest emissions rate – began to increase their speed by 22% weather permitting to accommodate increased demand, a told Quartz Mike Konstantinidis, CEO of METIS Cyberspace Technology. .
“Lockdown measures and other COVID-19 restrictions on human activity have changed the landscape of the shipping industry and have significantly affected the way shipping and commerce operate, revealing a significant increase in pollutant emissions in seaports in our study, ”Adrian Law Wing-Keung, professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NTU, wrote in the report.
Southern California, home to the largest seaports in the United States, has been hit particularly hard by the supply chain crisis. From Wednesday, Maritime exchange reports there are 134 ships waiting off the coasts of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while 110,000 empty containers currently litter shipyards and roads in the region.
Today, rising carbon emissions mark the latest in a series of growing challenges for cities. According to the NTU report, emissions at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have increased by double and two-thirds, respectively.
Going forward, environmental organizations are calling for change from some of the world’s largest retailers. A report released earlier this week by Stand.earth and Pacific Environment found that Walmart, Target, Amazon and IKEA contributed to a collective 20 million metric tonne increase in carbon emissions between 2018 and 2020.
“The retail brands that fill our homes and lives with their products bear direct responsibility both for the pollution that shipping in their supply chains creates and for taking the necessary action to demand reductions in gasoline. emissions now and 100% zero emissions transport this decade. , indicates the report.