Pacific nations have been joined by their vulnerable Asian counterparts in a call to decarbonize the shipping industry by 2050.

Eleven climate-vulnerable Asian nations endorsed the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s call to the International Maritime Organization, which includes a $100 carbon levy on shipping companies by 2025.

Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands made the initial proposal which was formalized in the 2021 CVF Asia Regional Communique, but more countries need to buy in, according to the RMI ambassador to the IMO.

Honolulu Harbor Matson Shipping with container ship Matsonia. Preparedness.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum wants to see more global support for decarbonization. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The CVF is a partnership of 48 of the worlds’ most climate-threatened nations, representing 1.2 billion people worldwide.

“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,” said ambassador Albon Ishoda.

Ishoda was heartened by the Asian nations’ support, but urged that more pressure was needed to get the IMO to speed up its work to lower the shipping sector’s carbon emissions. He also stressed the need for more countries to step up their work.

“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,” Ishoda said in a statement. “And they can do that by getting on board with the Pacific’s proposals ahead of the UN climate change conference.”

The statement recognized the importance of shipping in the Pacific, but recognized the need “to 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,” according to the statement.

Many have called for urgent action on climate change ahead of the UN conference on climate change in November.

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