8 Jul 2019

Palau calls for more sustainable ocean vessels

12:49 pm on 8 July 2019

Palau President Tommy Remengesau says there needs to be more action taken to reduce carbon emissions from ocean vessels.

Okeanos Palau

Okeanos Palau Photo: Facebook/ Office of the President, Republic of Palau

He made the comment on Thursday while welcoming a purpose-built traditional vaka which will help island communities deal with the climate crisis.

The Okeanos Palau was partly donated by a non-profit and is equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines.

Mr Remengesau said the vaka shows Palau is "walking the talk" on climate action.

"You cannot just concentrate on transportation, or the power plants, or forest fires or whatever. You also have to do something about it - [these] sea ocean vessels that are really contributing to the atmosphere of global warming. And Palau is doing this already."

Tommy Remengesau said Palau plans to invest in more vessels like the Okeanos Palau .

The Okeanos Foundation, a German non-profit is covering half of the vaka's construction costs, or around $US500,000.

Palau's government will take over ownership of the vessel when the other half has been recovered by the foundation.