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OTEC – what is and why should we consider it?

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Mr. Wayne Raymi Kijiner is the  President of the Marshall Islands Student Association, University of the South Pacific, and  Undergraduate: BSc Double Major Electrical/Electronic Engineering & Physics   T here is a new but old technology making its way around the green energy discussions. I'm referring to Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). The technology has been understood since the 1800s, but it wasn't until the last 15 years that significant advancements were made and are currently being developed for improved designs.  What exactly is OTEC, and how does it work? In a nutshell, it is the use of the temperature difference between the surface and the deeper parts of the ocean to heat and cool a working fluid (usually ammonia).  Because the working fluid has a low boiling point, there is no need for a significant temperature difference; it should be at least 20°C. The working fluid is then heated using surface ocean water, causing it to turn into vapor pressure, which

Why Equity is Essential in the IMO negotiations in reducing GHG emissions from ships

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Atina Schutz is a law student at the University of the South Pacific who has been closely following the IMO negotiations  The shipping industry accounts for 3% of all CO2 emissions, and is on track to grow as high as between 50% and 250% in 2050. At the International Maritime Organization (IMO), discussions on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from ships are ongoing. While progress is slowly being made, the main thing people in the Pacific, and everywhere, should be watching is equity in the progress of GHG reduction debates.  In the global market, the Pacific is at a disadvantage. Our small economies, with distantly spread islands, are very far from the global market, which is heavily concentrated in the Global North. When it is time to decarbonize, that disadvantage will be exacerbated. As decarbonization is a highly costly and technical process, the cost will fall on governments already struggling to provide other equally important services to their citizens. Consequen

Minister Nemra delivered this statement today at the UNESCAP 4th Conference of Ministers for Transport -December 16-17th, 2021

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Hon. Casten N. Nemra Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Republic of the Marshall Islands   Iakwe and greetings from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. I would like to acknowledge and commend the Undersecretary General and all participants to these meetings for the excellent array of background material and thinking that has gone into the draft Ministerial Declaration. Although much does not obviously apply to our situation – we have no rail links or overland connectivity with Europe – we fully recognize that investment in green transport has lagged far behind other sectors and this region now has a major game of catch-up on our hands. We can support in general terms, the body and intent of this draft Declaration and commend the drafting team for their excellent work.   As a representative of the climate most vulnerable nations, it would be remiss of me not to underscore the critical importance of tackling decarbonisation of the transport sector and the importance of this r

Leaving None Behind In Shipping’s Transition To Green Fuel

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  H.E. Ambassador Albon T, Ishoda, Republic for the Marshall Islands Statement to "The Getting to Zero Coalition [1]    7th December Webinar:  Synthesis of Shipping decarbonisation at COP26 and MEPC77.   What does equitable transition look like in practice? That is a very good question and one that none of us have the answer to. Not yet! But it is critically important that collectively we find that answer. And find it relatively quickly.   Mine is an atoll nation. 2m high. For us, the most climate vulnerable of all, it’s a very simple equation. Stay under 1.5 or stop being a country. Whether that means we will still have a flag to fly over a significant proportion of the world’s fleet is another question.   At the International Maritime Organisation, we are finally coming down to the business end of the wedge. What is the Market-based Measure shipping will adopt? Will it really close the price gap with alternative fuels? And if it does, the most contentious question of all - what

Pacific Strong on Climate Negotiations, Aim for Net Zero: Analysis

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  Dr Tristan Smith is the Associate Professor at University College of London Energy Institute.  The hard work and vocal leadership of Fiji and a number of Pacific countries has, once again, enabled major progress in climate negotiations.  COP 26 started, just under a month ago, with the vast majority of countries, representing the majority of global Gas House Gas (GHG )emissions, signed up to ‘net zero’ targets. Most commonly targeting their national economies to emit net zero GHG by 2050.  For the efforts made to achieve those targets not to be in vain, they need two international transport sectors, shipping and aviation, that most often lie outside of national GHG reduction commitments, to step up to commit to similar.  In 2018, in direct response to calls initially made in 2015 by the late Tony deBrum, Foreign Minister to the Marshall Islands, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted its first commitment to an absolute reduction in GHG emissions.  Thanks to Pacific isl

Crossroads between COP26 & MEPC77

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  Andrew Irwin is the project officer at the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport. While the COP26 team is returning from Glasgow, the International Maritime Organisation is preparing for its 77th Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting from 22nd-26th November. It marks another opportunity for Fiji to offer strong climate leadership in solidarity with its Pacific neighbours.  This is especially pressing, given the tenor of the global climate dialogue with the closing remarks of UN SG António Guterres – “It is an important step but is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.”  So in Glasgow, where Fiji’s Prime Minister and Minister of Economy raised the topics of green hydrogen as a shipping fuel and an electric public transportation system, respectively, the realities of structuring, financing, and transitioning the transport subsectors domestically will need to be explored and deta

Shipping Decarbonisation: Why COP26 is deemed important?

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  Maria Sahib is a Consultant with the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST)  The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties has kicked off this week in Glasgow, Scotland. The Presidency theme this COP is based around climate change challenges including: Adaptation and resilience - to help communities adapt to, and prepare for, the worst impacts of climate change.  Nature-based solutions - to safeguard and restore natural habitats and ecosystems to preserve the planet’s biodiversity.  Energy transitions - to accelerate the clean energy transition by encouraging the use of cheaper renewables and storage.  Clean transport - to clean our air by speeding up the global transition to zero emission vehicles.  Finance - to encourage our financial systems to be cleaner to unlockgrowth and create green jobs.  The aim of the climate vulnerable countries, including the Pacific region, is to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees alive. As indicated and

Debate on emissions underway at International Maritime Organisation

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Andrew Irvin is the Project Officer at the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport This week, the Intersessional Working Group on GHG Emissions (ISWG-GHG 10) of the International Maritime Organization is underway. As broader diplomatic discussions turn towards preparations for COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland from the 31st October to November 12th, the IMO is holding its 77th Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting from 22nd-26th November , where proposals of monumental importance for Fiji and the rest of the region are to be brought to debate. It is crucial that Fiji approach the MEPC dialogues with the same attention and resources as the UNFCCC meetings customarily receive, particularly given the disproportionate impact the shipping industry and its associated emissions have on Pacific Island Countries.  Both ISWG-GHG 10 and MEPC 77 will be focusing on the role that market-based measures (MBM) can play in the implementation of the IMO initial greenhouse gas strategy.