Majuro (Thursday, 25 MAY 20223)
Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands seek commitment from shipping for highest possible ambition in finalisation of the revised strategy on reduction of GHG emissions.
The 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (3 to 7 July 2023), must make critical decisions affecting the shipping sector, all member States and global efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including those related to equity. This is being seen by many experts as shipping’s watershed moment, the last chance for this large emitting sector to commit to a 1.5 aligned agenda.
With one last negotiating session left before IMO is scheduled to adopt a revised Strategy that will set the speed and trajectory of shipping decarbonization, this is the last opportunity for Pacific high ambition states to mark out the detail of what is needed for an equitable transition, one that does not leave the climate most vulnerable countries behind.
A coalition of Pacific high ambition states, nicknamed the “6PAC” has lodged two new submissions at IMO, setting out the proposed text the Strategy to keep 1.5 on the table. The Pacific alliance is promoting the highest ambition position, including proposals by Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands, supported by Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, for a significant increase in ambition commensurate with a 1.5 degree aligned transition that leaves no state behind.
The 6PAC has been responsible for advancing a position of ambitious policy measures, including a universal levy on all shipping emissions that the World Bank is valuing at some $60billion per annum, with the majority of revenues allocated to the priority needs of climate vulnerable states, in particular SIDS and LDCs.
The outcome of these negotiations will have long term and significant impacts on all Pacific States and economies, given our extreme reliance on international shipping and our high vulnerability to any increase in transport costs or security. But historically, few SIDS and LDCs have participated in IMO processes and we are heavily under-represented at the decision-making committee plenaries.
As the IMO draws close to the end of a 5-year negotiating process, there are clear signs the Pacific’s persistent advocacy is making an impact. The G7 leaders came out with a clear statement for the IMO to increase ambition in line with the Pacific calls. But the critical issue of how high to set the price on carbon and whether the significant revenues generated will be used to the benefit of the climate most vulnerable states is now in the balance. The Pacific’s new submissions set out a clear pathway for a shipping decarbonisation path that leaves no State behind.
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