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USP lauds EU support for GHG emission reduction

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Some of the Pacific Islands delegates meeting with Mr Hideaki Saito of Japan, the Chair of the Marine Environment Protection Committee.

The European Union’s (EU) new initiative to support the Pacific Region's preparation and effective participation in the negotiations on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions reduction from international shipping held at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been commended by The University of the South Pacific (USP).

According to the EU, the new initiative will provide capacity building and support to the Pacific IMO delegations during the 2019 and 2020 periods.

A first delegation of 15 Pacific participants has just returned from London where they participated in the Marine Environment Protection Committee and the Intersessional working group on the reduction of GHG emissions.

Professor Derrick Armstrong, USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation & International commended the EU for the support emphasising the importance of IMO negotiations in combating climate change, since shipping is identified as one of the major contributors of carbon and other emissions.

“I believe that this support from the EU is an opportunity for the Pacific to have a voice in these negotiations to lead and push for urgent action,” he stated.

He added it is critical for Pacific negotiators they have the technical support required if their voices are to be heard for urgent action to achieve emissions reduction.

USP is playing an important role in the provision of technical expertise to the Pacific IMO delegations, through its Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST) and its Law Faculty, including delivery of online learning opportunities through its regional ICT facilities.

In addition, USP will collaborate with key regional stakeholders, including the Maritime Technical Cooperation Centre established at the Pacific Community, which is also supported by the EU, and other key regional stakeholders in the development and delivery of this capacity building project.

Financial support for delegates’ travel is provided through the Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building Facility (TECCBUF) project which is funded by the EU in a bid to support the effective preparations and participation of selected Pacific representatives in the main global climate change related fora. The TECCBUF project is implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

The EU’s initiative will further promote the development and implementation of the IMO GHG emissions reduction Initial Strategy and related Roadmap, as well as the strengthening of partnerships with other global actors.

The IMO agreed to an initial Strategy for reducing GHG emissions from international ships in April 2018. Pacific and EU member states were instrumental in this achievement, and worked together to ensure that a high level of ambition and vision for decarbonisation of the sector was established.

International shipping's GHG emissions, along with international aviation, are not covered by the NDCs countries submit to UNFCCC, and fall under the responsibility of the UN bodies IMO and ICAO. 

The strategy adopted in April was the first time that the international shipping has agreed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target on a pathway to full decarbonisation as soon as possible.

This news item was published on 28 May 2019 09:08:04 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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