A coalition of Pacific island nations wants to raise $500m (£400m) to make all shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by the middle of the century. The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, announced on Tuesday by the governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, has set an emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2050.
The partnership intends to raise money through grants from multinational institutions, concessional loans, direct private sector investment and through issuing regional “blue bonds”. The money would be used to retrofit existing passenger and cargo ferries with low-carbon technologies, and to buy new zero-emissions vessels. Pacific island populations are dependent on shipping for travel, medicines, their livelihoods and connection to the outside world.
A joint Fiji-Marshall Islands government briefing paper said that compared with other major economic sectors, “investment in the sustainable development of sea transport for Pacific island countries has been extremely limited to date”.
“A transition to sustainable, resilient and decarbonised sea transport at this scale will require substantial investment, including at least $500m to support implementation of the 10-year work programme.”