Since RMI’s call in 2016 for IMO to take action on GHG emissions reduction from ships, Fiji, Kiribati, RMI, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and more recently Samoa and Papua New Guinea have been actively collaborating in IMO MEPC and ISWG GHG meetings. It is widely acknowledged that the Pacific has been instrumental in pushing progress in the IMO on GHG emissions reduction.
Pacific Island delegations have been reaching out to other IMO members active in the GHG emissions reduction debate, and an informal coalition of IMO member states, particularly High Ambition Coalition members has developed. This coalition is focused on dialogue and information sharing, as well as co-sponsoring papers. The coalition is working hard to reach out to more IMO members.
Pacific Islands Development Forum is actively engaged in discussions on IMO GHG emissions reduction work, hosting regional talanoa and briefing sessions as well as providing outreach through its membership. GHG emissions from ships has been one of PIDF’s top priority issue since 2013. PIDF have taken the lead in regional outreach, facilitating a series of public talanoa, side events, meetings as well as a Pacific Position Paper on the issue.
USP and UCL have been providing technical support to the Pacific delegations and coordination with other IMO members. To date this has been resourced by USP and UCL. This technical support includes related research and analysis, briefings, meeting facilitation, coordination with other IMO members, drafting support for IMO submissions, and coordination of Pacific delegations' participation in IMO meetings. Financial assistance for travel for some delegations (flights, accommodation and per diems) has been generously provided by the EU through funding allocated to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for Pacific participation In international forums from EDF10 SPRAO. France provides financial support to Fiji’s delegation to IMO GHG meetings, Netherlands to Tonga, and more recently Belgium to Solomon Islands.
As Pacific participation has to be maintained throughout the Roadmap until at least 2023 when the final IMO Strategy is to be adopted, on-going technical support and resourcing is needed. To try and enable this, a "buddy" approach has been initiated by USP, partnering Pacific Island States with European States. The purpose of this "buddy" concept is to build capacity of Pacific Island government delegations, as well as raising awareness with those outside of the region on the particular challenges faced in the Pacific. To date partnerships have been formalised through bilateral agreements between Fiji & France, Tonga & Netherlands, and Solomon Islands & Belgium (see also above). The RMI and Germany partnership is one example of this. Tuvalu and Kiribati are also exploring potential for similar agreements with UK and Sweden respectively.
This type of support can be extended to other Pacific Island government delegations over time and as funding allows, including Palau, and Vanuatu, to enable them to become more actively engaged in the GHG emissions reduction work of the IMO.
Solomon Islands Intervention