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Asia joins Pacific to push IMO to decarbonise international shipping by 2050, introduce carbon levy

Pacific island countries calling on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to fully decarbonise the shipping industry by 2050, and to impose a US$100 carbon levy on shipping companies by 2025, have welcomed the support of climate-vulnerable Asian countries this week.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) held its fourth regional dialogue where eleven participating governments from Asia adopted an outcomes statement that backs proposals by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Kiribati and the Solomon Islands to clean up international shipping.

“We recognize the critical importance of shipping to our states and to prioritize and support all efforts to advocate for this sector to commit to an equitable transition to zero emission by at least 2050 that leaves none behind,” the CVF Asia Regional Communique states.

“We fully support the current submissions to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) MEPC77 calling for IMO to adopt this as an overarching sectoral target and endorse urgent and close consideration by IMO of the mandatory GHG levy on international shipping,” it adds.

The CVF is a grouping of around 50 of the most climate-threatened nations in the world, from Africa and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.

RMI’s Ambassador to the IMO, Albon Ishoda, said Asia’s endorsement comes at the back of eight Pacific states throwing their support to the RMI, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands IMO proposals in September.

“We see this as a diplomatic win for the work that we, in the Pacific are undertaking, to urge the IMO to take the bold and necessary actions needed to align itself with the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees,” Ambassador Ishoda said.

“We thank the Asia region for joining in our efforts and recognising that our regions face disproportionate negative impact from the climate crisis. We need to work in solidarity and ramp up pressure on the IMO to raise its level of ambition and help global efforts to accelerate the shipping sector’s transition to low carbon emissions,” he said.

Ambassador Ishoda, however, stressed that more countries need to step up and work together to drive the ambitious changes required in international shipping, an industry responsible for three percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.

“We need all of the 170-plus IMO member states to put their individual interests aside and work towards the collective interests of all nations. And they can do that by getting on board with the Pacific’s proposals ahead of the UN climate change conference, COP26, in Glasgow and at the Marine Environment Protection Committee gathering of the IMO next month.”
Source: Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport (MCST)

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