A shipping industry expert says the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) climate summit in the United Kingdom next month is the last chance for the sector to get in line with global climate targets.
The IMO's 175 member states will convene in London from July 3-7 for the 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) meeting to try to reach a historic agreement on shipping's climate ambition.
The global shipping regulator has been revising its initial climate strategy for shipping, aiming to halve emissions from ships by 2050.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global greenhouse gas emissions must fall rapidly before 2030, in order to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degrees goal and avoid catastrophic climate change.
It is estimated that global shipping - responsible for over 80 percent of international trade - emits around 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Dr Peter Nuttall, who works for a research team on transport decarbonisation out of the Marshall Islands, said the shipping industry needs to transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources within the next 15-years.
He said the scale of transition required was unprecedented in shipping's history.
"Us [from the Pacific] and many, many other scientists around the world are calling this shipping's last chance to stay 1.5 degrees compatible," Dr Nuttal told RNZ Pacific.
"We are now insisting on full decarbonisation by no later than 2050 with hard intermediate targets by 2030 to 2040. We are calling for an equitable transition one that leaves no state behind."
The Pacific high ambition coalition on shipping has been led by Marshall Islands and include Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu.
In 2021, the coalition submitted a landmark proposal for a fuel levy on ships starting at $US100 for every ton of carbon emitted from ships, followed by a new fuel standard.
Along with the high-ambition Pacific Island nations, the United States, the UK, Canada, and climate NGOs have submitted proposals to the IMO for concrete and strong emission cuts by 2030 and 2040.