6 Jul 2017

Pacific states urge shipping industry to reduce emissions

3:05 pm on 6 July 2017

A coalition of Pacific Island ministers has launched a joint call for the global shipping industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

A Pacific Basin Shipping boat on the water in Gisborne the morning of the earlier 7.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning in the area.

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Ministers from the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati were joined by envoys from Fiji, Vanuatu and Palau in urging member states of the International Maritime Organisation to try and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre industrial levels.

The Marshall Islands minister for transport Mike Halferty told the London meeting that the shipping industry was one of the world's big emitters.

"To put it in context, if international shipping was a country, it would be the seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The 1.5 degree limit will only be achieved if every country and every sector takes ambitious climate action. that includes international shipping."

Mr Halferty and Pacific states have submitted a proposal supported by France, Germany and Belgium for the shipping industry to meet a zero net emissions target by 2035.

Two more sets of negotiations are planned ahead of an expected 2018 climate deal for the maritime sector.

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