The shipping industry could undermine global climate efforts. But Pacific islands and EU nations are joining together to force them to change.

A Taiwanese fishing vessel stranded on a reef in the Solomon Islands in 2007. (Photo: US Navy)

The international shipping sector sits outside the Paris climate agreement, yet it is a significant and growing source of carbon emissions.

Unless it is controlled, shipping will undermine all our national efforts to achieve the agreement’s temperature goals.

The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) latest report, which includes the effects of all their current policy measures, expects shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions to grow 50-250% between 2012 and 2050.

We strongly believe that although shipping is a vital lifeline for our islands and an enabler of our access to global markets, this is no justification for complacency on its carbon emissions. And we have been taking action to address this.

Earlier this month, following the third Pacific Regional Transport and Energy Ministers meeting in Tonga, two important announcements were made.

The first was of the formation of the High Ambition Coalition for Shipping – a small group of Pacific and EU countries that…