Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport in the Republic of Marshall Islands
The project supports the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in delivering its Nationally Determined Contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The project uses baseline data on the GHG emissions and energy efficiency of domestic ships to come up with climate-friendly solutions. These include the development and pilot-testing of low-carbon propulsion technologies in cooperation with partners, together with the education and training of ship crew and researchers, as well as the use of modern energy-efficient sailing technologies and of renewable energy.
The outputs of the project will be shared with other Pacific island countries and with countries in other parts of the world, in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and other international organizations and fora.
Policy support for low-carbon sea transport is also extended to the RMI Government, including in the context of international climate negotiations.
RMI ministries such as the Ministry of Transport, as well as other government departments, will benefit from the project by progressing towards meeting the country’s GHG emission reduction targets as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Private-sector ship operators will benefit from the project’s demonstration of more sustainable alternatives to imported fuels and from low-carbon alternatives for ship propulsion.
The people of the Marshall Islands and communities on the outer islands will benefit from better availability of cost-efficient sea transport.
Other Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will benefit from the project’s demonstration and economic & climate policy assessment of appropriate technological and operational options for reducing fossil fuel use.
RMI mariners, public servants, students, and researchers will benefit through enhanced capacity and increased opportunities for learning.
The project directly leads to reduced emissions and improved energy efficiency in sea transport, which contributes to achieving RMI’s NDC targets.
The reduced dependency of SIDS on imported fossil fuels will enhance the resilience of outer island communities and increase their economic opportunities through greater and more affordable connectivity.
Further long-term impacts may be better connectivity between the RMI islands, improvement of the local health situation, more jobs for seamen in inter- and intra-islands traffic, and general stimulation of economic development.
Through policy support and capacity development of the RMI government in international fora such as the UNFCCC and the IMO, RMI’s contribution to the High Ambition Coalition of developed and developing countries pushing for a legally binding global and ambitious deal on climate change will continue to gain global momentum.
I am currently based in the Pacific region and heading our Low Carbon Sea Transport project. From 2010 to 2013, I lived in Beijing and developed GIZ’s sustainable transport portfolio in China. Consequently, I was working with the German Government implementing policies for electric-mobility and new mobility. Before moving to the Pacific I lived in Berlin and was engaged with GIZ’s cooperation with the automotive sector.
Due to my background of Marine Operational Engineering and several years of expertise in international merchant shipping, I call Majuro as capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands my home since two years. The project I’m involved in as Technical Advisor, Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport, can be considered as a pilot program for the entire Pacific region where sea transportation is essential. Developing, constructing and assessing low emission sea transport options or both shipping within Atolls as well as open ocean shipping are next to maritime policy advice for the RMI government the major components of the 6-year program. The Marshall Islands as one of four Atoll nations all over the world offer unique insights in traditional navigation practices and I am grateful being involved in this work.
Born and raised on a tiny atoll called Enewetak Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, I learned early in life that sea transport is crucial to survive with the vast sea all around you. With limited resources from our beloved islands, commuting to the center, Majuro Atoll, by boat is a necessity for all Marshallese living in the outer islands. As a new recruit of GIZ, it a privilege to be a part of this project as I believe will help enhance the sailing transportation more and help save our corals by promoting more efficient and sustainable sea transport by means of building local canoes and using renewable energy technology on our shipping vessels.