The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has branded International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu “a danger to the planet” over the failure to set targets for emissions reductions for shipping.
The low-lying Pacific Island nation, which is also home to the world’s third largest ship registry faces potential disaster from climate change.
Responding to remarks by Sekimizu in Denmark on Wednesday that the industry should set its own targets rather than waiting for the IMO, it stated: “RMI expresses great concern on the call by the retiring Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr Koji Sekimizu, for global leaders at COP21 not to intervene and not insist that the IMO now set a clear and ambitious sector target for shipping.
“His call is not just a danger to the planet, but as the research points out, also to the shipping industry’s future prosperity, and therefore the future stability of world trade.”
It said the Paris agreement for COP21, “must deliver the strongest possible directive to the IMO to move quickly and decisively to set such a target and to prioritise implementing all measures necessary to achieve this target”.
Comparison was made in the way that 50 years ago the Pacific Islands were made to accept nuclear testing as part of world peace and security.
“Let us not make the same mistake we did with nuclear bombs in addressing the issue of climate change, the greatest challenge of our generation,” the statement concluded.