Climate Change

Low Carbon Sea Transport In The Pacific

“Pacific Islands countries are most vulnerable by climate change and rising sea levels. Therefore, they are credible advocates for climate protection and support ambitious targets,” Borowski said.
11 Oct 2021 16:12
Low Carbon Sea Transport In The Pacific
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In the lead up to the Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, we would like to introduce the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Low Carbon Sea Transport Project based out of Suva, Fiji.

Under the bilateral cooperation between the governments of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Federal Republic of Germany, the GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation) is implementing the Low Carbon Sea Transport Project with its efforts to pursue a transition towards a low carbon fleet for the Marshall Islands, operated by crews that will be trained at a Maritime Training Centre.

The GIZ Low Carbon Sea Transport Project Director Dominik Borowski said: “the Marshall Islands together with Fiji and other regional partners such as Solomon Islands are strong climate advocates at the International Maritime Organisations. With the RMI embassy based in Suva, the countries work closely together to highlight the importance of including the maritime sector and international shipping in ambitious climate goals under the Paris Agreement.

“Passenger and cargo vessels being used in Fiji and the region are second or third hand and high- emitting. The project is showcasing modern, affordable and climate-friendly solutions for maritime sea transport that can easily be upscaled within the region.

“Pacific Islands countries are most vulnerable by climate change and rising sea levels. Therefore, they are credible advocates for climate protection and support ambitious targets,” Borowski said.

In recent cases, passenger and cargo vessels being used in Fiji and the region are second or third hand vessel and extremely high-emitting.

AFFORDABLE SOLUTIONS

With the urgent need in the region for better transport and accessibility, the project is showcasing modern, affordable, and climate-friendly solutions for maritime sea transport that can easily be upscaled within the region.

One of the earmark goals of the joint efforts between the RMI government, the College of the Marshall Islands and other local entities next to the GIZ implemented Low Carbon Sea Transport Project is to construct and establish a Maritime Training Centre (MTC) in Majuro.

This centre would allow national maritime sectors in the RMI to sustainably build on and enhance the local capacity and maritime skills and furthermore to crew and operate modern, low-carbon emitting vessels.

By providing training and education of sustainable sea transport, the MTC provides possibilities for students and young maritime professionals in the region to start their career in the maritime industry and onboard seagoing vessels.

Especially the focus on low-carbon operations will support the path towards sustainable shipping within the region and RMI and give students a head-start in the future of maritime transport.

“There are good examples in the region, for example in Kiribati, how jobs can be created in the sector. We want the Pacific Islands Countries to be leading in crewing of modern, climate-friendly vessels,” Borowski said.

“The Low Carbon Sea Transport aims to help RMI and the region to a better, more modern and affordable sea transport that is independent of hikes in fossil fuel prices on global markets.”

“In line with supporting and reviving the proud culture of traditional boat-building and navigation, the vision is one family, one canoe,” he added.

MARSHAL ISLANDS

As in most other Pacific Island Countries, the seaborne transport in the Marshall Islands is mainly depended on costly imported fuels that also emit a significant volume of greenhouse gases (GHG).

Beside creating greenhouse gas emissions that impact our climate by motorized vessels, the use of combustion powered boats causes various problems for Marshallese living on the outer islands.

Reduced availability of transportation and fishing means due to expensive fuel (if available at all) leads to reduced availability of local seafood, and hindrance for the development of the local economy and livelihood.

Providing alternative transport means, including outrigger canoes, and sailing catamarans, these challenges are tackled.

Under the Paris Agreement, RMI set itself the ambitious goal to reduce emissions from domestic shipping by 40 per cent in 2030 below the emission levels measured in the year 2010 and to achieve full decarbonisation of the sector in 2050.

Thereby, RMI is one of the only countries worldwide to explicitly include domestic shipping in its NDC and sets a great example to take shipping emissions serious on the path towards a climate friendly and energy efficient future.

The project supports RMI in delivering its Nationally Determined Contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In the lead up to the Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, we would like to introduce the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Low Carbon Sea Transport Project based out of Suva, Fiji.

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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