A coalition of Pacific island nations are looking to raise $500m to reduce carbon emissions from shipping in the region to zero by 2050.
The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership was announced on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday 24 September, by coalition members the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu.
The aim is to secure an initial $500m finance package to cut carbon emissions in shipping by 40 per cent by 2030, reducing them to zero by 2050.
However, the initiative will not cover international vessels that fly the flag of Marshall Islands or other Pacific ship registries.
The package would be spent on retrofitting existing passenger and cargo ferries with low-carbon technologies and buying new zero-emissions vessels.
New renewable energy generation and energy supply chains for regional shipping, and support for education and training, capacity building, and national policy reforms also feature in the decarbonisation plan.
According to Marshall Islands environment minister, David Paul, the key to the funding will be to ensure that it follows the priority of Pacific countries, and not be dictated by the donors.
Mr Paul told a forum at the UN climate action summit in New York that securing funding would spark a 'rapid transformation of our … shipping sector'.
Investment will derive from domestic and international sources, including donor finance, concessional loans, private sector investment, and a planned regional blue shipping bond.
The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership will be officially launched in Chile at the end of the year at the meeting of the UN Convention on Climate Change.