Pacific islands make lonely case.

The pacific islands are not happy with what is happening to their waters with all the damage and pollution that is being done by the shipping lines when passing through. At an environmental committee meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands jointly proposed a carbon price of $100 a ton on bunker fuels. Major emerging economies mainly opposed the measure and the principle of a carbon tax, while European countries backed carbon pricing in some form but did not endorse the specific proposal. The US was neutral on the topic.

Albon Ishoda the Marshall Islands ambassador to the IMO stated that “There is clearly division at IMO as to those who are prepared to proactively move forward and those who prefer to delay at all costs.” One of the only countries to directly support the proposal was Tonga. Its representative said it was “the only measure so far proposed which can achieve 1.5C alignment and an equitable transition”, referring to the most ambitious global warming limit in the Paris Agreement. European countries like France, The Netherlands, Italy and Finland said the $100 levy should be considered by a working group set up by the IMO on medium and long-term measures to reduce emissions.

Ishoda went on to state that “The science is clear that $100/t is the minimal floor, not the ceiling, needed now to send a clear unequivocal signal to market. Obviously it will need to be reviewed and ratcheted up quite quickly to meet the price differential between fossil fuels and alternatives. But the change in price with a $100 levy is well within the price fluctuations of existing fuels. In the vast majority of cases, the increase in transport goods for most goods and cargo is highly marginal. However, he said, “on a narrow range of cases, especially for countries such as mine, there is a risk of disproportionate negative impact and this will need a mechanism to compensate these situations. But we need to work these matters out alongside the development of the measure. As we keep saying we are out of time.”

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