As tides rise Tuvalu’s PM hits out at shipping’s emissions

The prime minister of one of the countries most at risk from climate change has hit out at shipping’s carbon footprint.

Enele Sopoaga, the political leader of the tiny archipelago of Tuvalu in the South Pacific, has demanded that shipping does more to cut its emissions.

Sopoaga was speaking at a regional transport forum in Tonga last week where he called for a global accountability model to be created by the International Maritime Organization.

“It’s still not yet clear how we can account for the greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. For example, is it the maker of the ships, is it the charters of the cargo, or is it the registry or the flag under which the ships are operating? I mean, these are issues that need to be properly accounted for,” Sopoaga said.

Tuvalu, in the South Pacific, is an independent island nation with a population of less than 10,000. It is one of a number of tiny island nations in the South Pacific that face the possibility of having to leave en masse as tides rise.

In 2004, Tuvalu contracted a firm in Singapore to run its ship registry. Other shipping flags in the South Pacific such as the Marshall Islands and Kiribati also face the threat of forced relocation from climate change.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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