In the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in the Pacific island region -- a country that is 99.99% ocean, there is a high-dependence on sea transport -- domestic ships run mainly on costly imported fuels that also emit a significant volume of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
RMI, which faces an existential risk from climate change induced sea level rise, was the first country to pledge, under the Paris Agreement, to a 32% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 2010 levels by 2025, and to a 45% reduction by 2030, towards its goal of zero net emissions by 2050.
Under the bilateral cooperation between the governments of RMI and Germany, the GIZ (German Development Cooperation) is implementing the Low Carbon Sea Transport Project with its efforts to pursue a transition towards a low carbon domestic fleet for the Marshall Islands, operated by Marshallese crew that will be trained at a Maritime Training Facility.
Central to the achievement of these goals is the reduction of the country’s GHG emissions from sea transportation.
The Transition to Low Carbon Sea Transports came in a four-phase approach, to which in the project’s first phase inter atoll transportation was to assess by collecting and analyzing data through two baseline assessments.
This resulted in the identifying of a Scenario, which is the development and construction of a newly designed low carbon vessel and the Maritime Training Facility.
Under the Paris Agreement, RMI set itself the ambitious goal to reduce emissions from domestic shipping by 40% in 2030 below the emission levels measured in the year 2010 and to achieve full decarbonization of the sector in 2050.
Thereby, RMI is the only country worldwide to explicitly include domestic shipping in its NDC and sets a great example to take shipping emissions serious on the path towards a climate friendly and energy efficient future.
The project supports RMI in delivering its Nationally Determined Contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).