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Pacific High ambition comes out strongly insisting the decarbonising of the shipping sector equitably. At the IMO there are currently 6 Market Based Measures proposals to be discussed this week for MEPC78. Our Pacific high ambition coalition continues to benchmark the RMI/Sol $100 tonne levy which the World Bank values at over $1.6 US Trillion which underscores the need for equitable transition and that none is left behind.

Ambassador Ishoda’s Informal Virtual Presentation Session on proposals for mid-term measures.

Click here to read the press release - Pacific High Ambition calls for ET on MBM.

In a defining submission ahead of IMO's crunch 12th Inter-Sessional Working Group on GHG emissions in May, the sponsors call for the massive revenues that will result from a GHG price on shipping, to finance an equitable transition that leaves no country behind.

The Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, the most climate vulnerable nations on earth, are spearheading a drive to raise ambition at the International Maritime Organisation and ensure the resulting shift to non-emitting technologies and fuel benefits all. In 2020, RMI and the Solomon Islands proposed a GHG levy with an entry level price of $100 GHG-equivalent. Since then, other coalitions have proposed other market-based measures, including different levies and variations of emission trading schemes.

There is now general agreement a strong carbon price and market signal is essential if shipping is to rise to the 1.5-degree challenge.  At ISWG-12 in May, member states will finally begin to seriously negotiate the future shipping market-based measure. For it to have any value in keeping global warming below a 1.5-degree temperature threshold, the measure will need to send an unequivocal signal that shipping is decarbonising now and will be fully GHG free by no later than 2050.  If the market does not respond adequately, a command measure, such as a stringent fuel standard, will be also be required. Anything less is simply playing around the edges of what is needed to save the climate vulnerable countries from the current existential threat.

The scale of the market-based measure now needed will generate greater revenues than is currently required by the shipping sector to decarbonise. The World Bank is conservatively estimating that the revenues generated could be in the order of $60 billion p.a. initially.  This submission from the Pacific calls for an "Equitable Transition" to be the basis for determining the allocation of such revenues among IMO member states.

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Global maritime transport plays a crucial role in facilitating global trade and fostering economic development around the world. At the same time, shipping represents a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Of which, these GHG emissions are expected to grow further under a business-as-usual scenario. In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization officially committed itself to at least halve GHG emissions from ships by 2050 from 2008 levels. Today, more and more maritime stakeholders are calling for full decarbonization by mid-century. This ambitious transition toward zero-carbon shipping can only be achieved effectively and equitably with stringent policy intervention. This webinar will take a deeper look into the prospects of market-based measures to enable and accelerate shipping’s decarbonization. It will set a particular focus on the revenue-raising potential of carbon pricing and the strategic use of carbon revenues for the benefit of an equitable energy transition in the shipping sector and beyond.

In the first half of 2022 the International Maritime Organisation will consider the ‘lessons learnt’ from the heavily contested Impact Assessment procedure being employed in the assessment of measures for reducing shipping's GHG reductions.

While impact assessments are a relatively new field for the IMO, they have a longer history in other sectors. Two new legal research papers question the legal basis of some of the key underlying uncertainties in the IMO process to date.

PJAssociate Professor Bordahandy (USP Law School) has led a MCST team in a deep research dive to look at where the IMO Impact assessment process originated from and asks whether the IMO has confused Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) – which are reasonably well understood and recognized - with Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA), a markedly different and less well recognized and defined instrument. The paper concludes with suggesting a series of six priority actions for Pacific delegations to consider advocating for in forthcoming IMO sessions.


 Kate CookThe Clean Seas Coalition has also raised the issue of IMO's interpretation of Impact Assessments. In a detailed legal assessment lodged as an information paper at the upcoming 11th Intercessional Working Group, highly respected legal expert Kate Cook at Matrix Chambers and Leigh Day Solicitors of London examines the precedents around Environmental Impact Assessments, particularly positive impacts, as used in other theatres to highlight the deficiencies in the current IMO regime.