The Governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu launched the Pacific Blue Partnership.
The Partnership aims to reduce Pacific shipping’s CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, with the aim of achieving complete decarbonization by 2050.
27 September 2019: The Governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu launched a partnership to make shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by 2050. The governments announced the partnership at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, and highlighted the partnership at the ‘Securing our Future in the Blue Pacific’ event.
According to the Ocean Action Hub, Pacific island populations depend on shipping for their connection to the outside world. They use ships to travel and to access medicines and other imported goods. Pacific countries are “precariously dependent on imported fossil fuels and acutely vulnerable to price shocks or supply disruptions,” and the region imports 95% of its fuel. In addition, Pacific countries spend an average of 40% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on imported petroleum.
In recognition of these challenges, the Governments of Fiji and the Marshall Islands prepared a joint government briefing paper. The paper found that, to date, “investment in the sustainable development of sea transport for Pacific island countries has been extremely limited.” The paper suggested a transition to a “sustainable, resilient and decarbonized sea transport at this scale will require substantial investment,” including at least USD 500 million to implement a ten-year work programme.
The Marshall Islands Environment Minister, David Paul, told participants at the ‘Securing our Future in the Blue Pacific’ event that securing funding for the Pacific Blue Partnership would help catalyze a “rapid transformation of our … shipping sector.” The Partnership aims to reduce Pacific countries’ carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from shipping by 40% by 2030, with the aim of achieving complete decarbonization by 2050. To achieve this goal, the Partnership is seeking USD 500 million to retrofit existing cargo and passenger ferries with low-carbon technologies and to buy zero-emission vessels. [IISD RS Coverage of Blue Pacific Event] [Ocean Action Hub Press Release]