Kabua: End fossil fuel use

President David Kabua and First Lady Ginger Kabua with the full Marshall Islands delegation that participated in numerous meetings last week at the United Nations in New York.

President David Kabua was among a select group of world leaders invited by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Climate Ambition Summit in New York last week.

Guterres aim for the summit was to set the bar high for “ambition” on climate action, inviting leaders of countries who had announcements to make to accelerate the pace and scale of climate action.

At the summit, the President called for all countries to recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement plan to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, recalling the Marshallese statement “Rijo im Ukoj,” for strength in unity.

He noted that the Marshall Islands, as Chair of the High-Ambition Coalition (HAC), convened a meeting at which the leaders of 20 countries came together to call for faster and stronger action. President Kabua called for a phase-out of fossil fuels, and noted the importance of ensuring that a focus on abatement technology is not used to give a green light to expanding fossil fuel use.

President Kabua announced that the Marshalls is joining the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance. Among other key points, he called for:

  • Support for a universal greenhouse gas shipping levy at the International Maritime Organization.
  • Funding for adaptation, noting that RMI will be publishing its National Adaptation Plan at COP28 later this year.

At United Nation Headquarters last week, the President signed the agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction — meaning the high seas. This treaty is more commonly known as the BBNJ Treaty. The BBNJ Treaty sets out the process to establish large-scale marine protected areas in the high seas towards achieving the target to effectively conserve and manage 30 percent of land and sea by 2030.

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