PRIME MINISTER OF TUVALU
Honourable Kausea Natano
World Climate Industry Expo- Leaders’ Summit
Global Cooperation and Solidarity for the Fight against Climate Change in the Ocean
Session 1: Carbon-Free Shipping toward a Greener Ocean
27 May 2023
Busan, Republic of Korea
1. At the outset, allow me first of all to express our profound appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Korea and to the State of Busan for hosting this important World Climate Change Summit and especially the warm hospitality accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival.
2. Tuvalu is one of the smallest atoll island States in the world, scattered midway between Australia and Hawaii with an Exclusive Economic Zone of around 800,000 sq. Kilometers of ocean. We are highly dependent on the ocean for our livelihood, resources and transport. Shipping is therefore our bloodline, we are very much reliant on shipping for movement of cargoes, food and our people. We need cleaner and safer ships for the sustainable development of our country.
3. We are also amongst the most vulnerable to climate change impacts and we urge the world to take heed of the dire warnings in reports and studies that highlight the urgency to take climate action. The Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) states that, and I quote “Climate and weather extremes are increasingly driving displacement in Africa, Asia, North America, and Central and South America, with small island states in the Caribbean and South Pacific being disproportionately affected” unquote. It also states that climate change has reduced food security and affected water security, hindering efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goals.
4. We are all aware that, climate change poses an existential threat to Tuvalu and all Pacific Island Nations. The International Energy Agency (IEA) again publicly declaring that there can be no new coal, oil or gas projects if the global energy sector is to reach net zero emissions by 2050, it is critical therefore that forum such as this go public to prevent projects that produces oil, gas or coal do not go ahead in the future.
5. This is why we are here today! How do we address these challenges? How do we, in our different capacities, take responsibility and act on behalf of our children and grandchildren?
6. As a responsible Small Island Developing State, with negligible contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, Tuvalu is taking steps to address emissions from the shipping sector. Shipping, while essential for trade, contributes significantly to the emissions that cause climate change. Global shipping contributes over 3% of worldwide greenhouse gases. And what is worse, it is predicted to grow as global trade continues to expand, unless we act now.
7. As a member of the International Maritime Organisation, we have co-sponsored many submissions calling for international shipping to decarbonise in line with 1.5 degrees. We have supported our Pacific brothers and sisters in calling for an equitable transition that leaves no one behind. And we have key meetings coming up in London in June and the first week of July where we all need to come together and agree on an ambitious Strategy to reduce emissions from international shipping. This is our last chance to get international shipping on a 1.5 degree aligned transition that is truly equitable.
8. It is in our interest and indeed in everyone’s interest that we see Carbon-Free shipping in the next decade. We cannot be complacent in our actions and intentions. A global mandatory universal greenhouse gas levy, proposed by the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands, is the obvious economic measure that gives the shipping industry the certainty and policy direction they are asking for.
9. The revenues generated from the levy can be invested in technology research, development and deployment to decarbonise the shipping industry globally, making sure we can all benefit from and access zero emission fuels and technologies. This is after all trillions of dollars investment opportunity in the shipping industry. If we don’t get agreement to a levy that sends the right market signals, then we are going to be faced with a global patchwork of regional economic measures that are all different and only benefit the region they serve, meaning that the climate most vulnerable such as Tuvalu, will be left behind.
10. As the Republic of Korea is a global leader in innovative ship building and renewable energy technology, we are keen to learn from you, and really appreciate this opportunity to meet and share information. Building strong relationships is key to successful global shipping decarbonisation.
11. We all want Carbon-Free shipping which contributes to a greener ocean so that we all leave a better, cleaner and safer planet for our future generations.
Fakafetai Lasi and Thank you. Tuvalu mo te Atua.– ENDS
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