The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, has set an emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2050 as reported in The Guardian on Tuesday 24 September.
The Partnership is a coalition of six nation governments, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. The coalition, as announced by Honorable David Paul, Minister-in-Assistance to the President & Environment Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, intends to raise $500m (£400m) to make all shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by the middle of the century. Plans to secure the initial funds include domestic and international sources, including donor finance, concessional loans, private sector investment, and a planned Regional Blue Shipping Bond.
Honorable Paul, in his address to the assembly emphasised the importance of shipping to the pacific economy and the need for international support.
“As you can see, these are ambitious projects, which we will not be able to achieve alone. We will need the support of the international community and the business sector as development partners, investors, or as technology and infrastructure developers.”
He also shared that domestic commitments that have been made through the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership and how the funds would be used in support of the commitment being made.
“These include purchasing and retro-fitting low-carbon ships that combine local design innovation and international technologies; building resilient and low-carbon ports; investing in new renewable energy generation and energy supply chains for regional shipping; and supporting education and training, capacity building, and national policy reforms,” said Hon. Paul.
Dr Peter Nuttall, a scientific and technical adviser for the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport (MCST) at the University of the South Pacific, told the Guardian that shipping was the “absolute lifeline” of any Pacific community.
“Without shipping, our economies die, our people can’t survive. In places like the Solomon Islands or the Marshall Islands, 80% to 90% of all goods arrive by ship. We have the most expensive shipping in the world, the longest transport routes, and the worst ships.”
He emphasised that, “this country-driven initiative and USP-MCST's ability to backstop our region is the product of strong international academic collaboration and partnerships with leading researchers including University College London, University of NSW and Hochschule Emden-Leer in Germany. USP has been leading Pacific research into decarbonising shipping at international and domestic levels since investing in this as a Strategic Research Theme in 2012".
Nuttall said the Pacific “cannot wait for the rest of the world. We have to bespoke design a Pacific solution if it is going to work, not leave the Pacific to languish.
“We’re running the biggest risk. The Pacific did nothing to cause climate change, but we’re about to get smashed by it. What is it we can practically do to make people’s lives better now? We know the answers, and we don’t have time to wait.”
Reports also received from FBC News on 24 September, indicate that following discussions at the Climate Action Summit in New York, a number of positive commitments have been made including 77 countries that have committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.
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