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Decarbonising Our Shipping Industry

Co-chaired by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Fijian Government, the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership (PBSP) held its first virtual Ministerial Meeting past Thursday. The Partnership is
11 Nov 2020 11:26
Decarbonising Our Shipping Industry
Co-chairs Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Fiji, at the first Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership Ministerial Meeting, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Shaheen Ali (right) and Republic of the Marshall Islands Ambassador to Fiji, Tregar Albon Ishoda (second from right) on November 5, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport.

Co-chaired by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Fijian Government, the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership (PBSP) held its first virtual Ministerial Meeting past Thursday.

The Partnership is the first multi country-driven initiative expected to create new opportunities across the region in terms of carbon-free maritime transportation.

The Meeting was co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Shaheen Ali and RMI Ambassador to Fiji, Tregar Albon Ishoda.

First signalled by the Fijian Prime Minister and RMI President at the One Planet Summit in New York, the PBSP was confirmed in a dedicated side event at the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) in April 2019 with Ministers and government representatives of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati pledging to support.

The Partnership is designed to enable a country-driven large-scale transition to sustainable, resilient and low-carbon sea transport – targeted to accelerate development of a 100 per cent carbon-free domestic maritime transport sector by 2050, including a 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by 2030.

The Permanent Secretary, in his opening statement, emphasised the importance of our ocean to the lives of the Pacific people and that its intrinsic value cannot be underestimated. He further stated that it is our combined responsibility to protect our ocean and the Partnership will be a game-changer for the Pacific, fast tracking the achievement of our ambitious targets of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Fiji is of the view that the Pacific’s vision of net zero emissions from the shipping industry will be achieved if, we are able become the centre for green and sustainable shipping. We need development partners not just to bring the best technology and low-emission vessels, but to build capacity in constructing these vessels locally.”

“We need to revive and grow our ship building industry, not only to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods, but to become more self-sufficient,” Mr Ali said

Mr Ishoda, reinforced the Republic of Marshall Islands’ commitment to the Partnership, stating that just like on land, we see our ocean as roads to rural communities on outer islands. “Our oceans are our collective heritage as Development partners”

In consultation with multi-lateral and bilateral development partners, the PBSP is developing a blended finance package exceeding US$500 million to enable a 10-year initial work programme (2020–2030) focused on three key priorities.

This partnership involves the following;
1.Large-scale infrastructure transformation, inclusive of both short-term ferry upgrades and high-
ambition projects to increase port/jetty access for underserved populations around the region;

2.Small-to-medium scale enterprise development to ensure the private sector is provided with appropriate finance to meet regional maritime transport needs; and,

3.Capacity building, analysis, and Research and Development efforts to deliver long-term success of the Partnership for the region. So far, 6 Pacific Island Countries have shown interest in the open coalition of this Partnership for the Pacific to become the centre for green and sustainable shipping.

Small Island Developing States. He further stated having sustainable transport will allow help us in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, humanitarian efforts especially amidst frequent natural events, as well as, COVID response relief,” added Mr Ishoda. This requires identification of key investments in the crucial areas of infrastructure development, investment finance, shipbuilding capacity, seafarer training and certification, and measures to meet the broader demand of Pacific Island Countries to enact an ambitious decarbonisation pathway over the coming decade.

“Fiji and RMI will jointly approach other Pacific Islands to join this initiative and share the vision of having zero carbon emissions in the maritime sector, across the Pacific, by 2050,” added Mr Ali.

The meeting agreed that the co-chairs will initiate the first round of discussions with development partners that have already shown interest in providing funding for the country-drive projects. In order to formalise the PBSP, the Parties are working on finalising the Implementation Agreement and a Joint Statement to be signed by the Ministers.

 

Source: Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport

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