The Commonwealth Port Authority has recently adopted a new policy which aims to completely deter the agency from emitting greenhouse gasses by year 2050.
During a CPA board meeting on Rota last Thursday, CPA board members unanimously voted to adopt a new environmental policy that has been in the works for sometime with the ultimate goal of ensuring CPA no longer emits greenhouse gasses into the CNMI environment by year 2050.
Greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, etc., which trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere resulting in climate change.
So, CPA’s new environmental policy seeks to address the threats created by climate change and the continued dependence on fossil fuels.
“The primary aim of this Environmental Policy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of strategies that enhance energy efficiency, reduce CPA’s impact on the climate, and utilize renewable resources for the benefit of the CNMI’s natural environment and for the wellbeing of all current and future CNMI citizens. This environmental policy commits CPA to achieving adequate environmental management and fostering sustainable development through the port’s operations and processes. This policy sets a goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which aligns with goals set by the Biden administration,” the new policy states.
In a brief statement from CPA chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds, she said it is important for CPA to implement policies such as these to aid in the fight against climate change as CPA’s six ports are the economic lifelines for this Commonwealth.
“Climate change is real. No one knows how to solve the problem without having unintended consequences and the best we can do is do our part. This is important to all of us at CPA. That’s why we are making it a part of how we do business. We also hope to realize some savings from policies and procedures that make us less reliant on non-green energy sources,” she said.
“Since I’ve been chair, I’ve been doing nothing but recovering from typhoons; from Mangkut to Soudelor to Yutu. I wasn’t chair through all those typhoons but we are still recovering from all of them; whether it be at the airports or seaports. CPA feels the brunt of these storms and we, as an agency, cannot shut down. It’s not just about the economy. It’s also about our people’s access to emergency medical treatment, or to just simply be with family, especially during their time of need,” King-Hinds added.
The policy has since been in effect for CPA.
Pursuant to this new policy, CPA will conduct regular assessments of the activities, products, and services used at its airports and seaports to determine those items’ impact on the environment.
“These regular assessments should occur at least once every five years. The purpose of the assessment is to identify the best opportunities for improving CPA’s environmental footprint. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, measures to prevent and minimize emissions and the development and implementation of alternative energy sources,” the policy states.