Zero emissions

Current emission in Fiji are negligible, it is .006 per cent of total global emission. Picture: ANA MADIGIBULI

FIJI has become one of the first two nations to commit to raising the ambition of its Nationally Determined Contribution by 2020 and to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.

This was highlighted by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his national statement at the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.

“To achieve this, we have a Low Emission Development Strategy that we are launching at COP24 next week. This involves an economy-wide assessment of emission sources,” he said.

As some of you will know, our current emissions in Fiji are negligible – .006 per cent of total global emissions.

“We nevertheless believe that we must lead the world by example and so government has approved a Low Emission Development Strategy that will make us the 11th nation to have submitted such a plan to the UN in line with Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.

“Different stakeholders are working together in Fiji to address the issue, with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji being one of the key players.

The authority makes sure that international vessels comply with the International Maritime Organisation regulations particularly the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

MARPOL Annex VI, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was first adopted in 1997 and it limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas, including sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrous oxides (NOx), and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS). MARPOL Annex VI also regulates shipboard incineration, and the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from tankers.

According to IMO the main changes to MARPOL Annex VI are a progressive reduction globally in emissions of SOx, NOx and particulate matter and the introduction of emission control areas (ECAs) to reduce emissions of those air pollutants further in designated sea areas.

Under the revised MARPOL Annex VI, the global sulphur cap will be reduced from current 3.50 per cent to 0.50 per cent effective from January 1, 2020, subject to a feasibility review to be completed no later than 2018.

Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Captain Philip Hill said the global sulphur cap being reduced from current 3.50 per cent to 0.50 per cent effective from January 1, 2020 was under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

“We have not exceeded that particular annex, but our ports state control officers in their inspection normally look through those requirements on ships,” he said.

“Our port state control officers do inspections and the inspections come under the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding that looks after the Asia-Pacific region. We inspect all the international ships, all 500 gross tonnages and above, that comes under our port state control inspections schedule.

“We have been doing port state control inspections since the 1980s, but not as improved as we have done now.

“We inspect almost all the ships that come into our international port in Suva and Lautoka.”

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