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Latest Science

Responding to the impact of climate change is high on the agenda of all Pacific island countries. Communities that live on low-lying atolls, like the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are particularly vulnerable. RMI’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is to reduce its 2010 greenhouse gas domestic transport emission levels by 16% by 2025, including efforts to reduce emissions from its shipping fleet. However, the shipping industry, an economic lifeline for the country, is lagging behind other transport sectors in modernising its fleets and improving the sustainability of its services. 

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Infrastructure worldwide has suffered from chronic under-investment for decades and currently makes up more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. A deep transformation of existing infrastructure systems is needed for both climate and development, one that includes systemic conceptual and behavioural changes in the ways in which we manage and govern our societies and economies. This report is a joint effort by the OECD, UN Environment and the World Bank Group, supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. It focuses on how governments can move beyond the current incremental approach to climate action and more effectively align financial flows with climate and development priorities. The report explores six key transformative areas that will be critical to align financial flows with low-emission and resilient societies (planning, innovation, public budgeting, financial systems, development finance, and cities) and looks at how rapid socio-economic and technological developments, such as digitalisation, can open new pathways to low-emission, resilient futures.

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In June 2018, a European project team installed an 18m x 3m Flettner rotor on multi-purpose cargo ship Fehn Pollux. While the technology itself is about a century old, there are only a few demonstrators in action, and measuring their performance is not as straightforward as one might think. The team were proud in particular of their handiwork installing a set of measuring instruments. Now the first results are in, confirming the excellent properties of the rotor in relation to seakeeping; and even better in terms of performance. If all that sounds too good to be true, there is one potential problem with the excellent paper by Michael Vahs and co-workers in Schiff und Hafen - it's written in German.

 

 

There is a long history of debate on which Market-based Mechanism (MBM) should international shipping adopt to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, literature presents differing preferences for a suitable MBM for international shipping. There are those who support a carbon tax, those who support an ETS, and those who remain on the fence. Hence, this study aims to find out: which MBM is suitable to reduce CO2 emissions for international shipping?


The paper begins with an overview of the current state of the MBM around the world. Thereafter, we build a conceptual model based on a systems perspective to understand the relationship between CO2 reduction, Research & Development (R&D), adoption of existing technology and financial resources. For the purpose of comparative analysis, definitions of the two MBMs, bunker levy and ETS, and their possible sub-types are presented. To determine which MBM is more suitable, we follow a multi-criteria decision making approach where the criteria are derived from our systems perspective conceptual model and from literature. To reduce ambiguity, criteria with multiple meanings are further divided into unequivocal criteria and operationalised with a specific mechanism.

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