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Statement by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice UNFCCC COP23

If we are to succeed in limiting global temperature increases to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, then ambitious climate action must be taken in all sectors. IMO must play its full part. If the international shipping sector were a country, it would be the sixth largest climate polluter in the world – and its emissions are set to grow rapidly.

The Marshall Islands speaks as one of the most climate vulnerable nations on Earth, and also as the world’s second largest shipping registry. The Marshall Islands is also greatly dependent on the shipping sector for food imports. In that capacity and context, we stress that ambitious climate action and sustainable growth of the shipping sector are both possible. And ambitious climate action can be taken in a way that disproportionate impacts on states – in particular SIDS and LDCs – can be avoided or addressed.

It is critical that the initial strategy to be adopted by IMO in Spring of 2018 ensures that ambitious measures are implemented in the short term. That means well before 2023. Relevant technologies and policy options exist to do that now. IMO must implement ambitious action well before 2023 in order to limit global temperature increases to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are very concerned that with limited negotiating time left to agree IMO’s Initial Strategy, we are still far from consensus on an ambitious outcome that is consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. Disappointingly little progress was made in the IMO on this issue last month.

We strongly urge all IMO countries to use the months between now and April 2018 to work hard to make progress towards consensus on all issues. Whilst adopting IMO’s Initial Strategy is critical, it must be an ambitious strategy that is consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. We will not accept anything less as an outcome.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands

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