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Pacific Ocean Trade – Navigating the shipping decarbonisation between comparative and disproportionate disadvantage in the middle of the climate change cyclone

Bordahandy, Pierre-Jean (2021) Pacific Ocean Trade – Navigating the shipping decarbonisation between comparative and disproportionate disadvantage in the middle of the climate change cyclone. Victoria University Wellington.

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With the risk of beginning this presentation with a commonality, the Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean. This has the immediate effect of putting Pacific Small Island Countries at a severe disadvantage when it comes to communication and trade when these countries do not possess an absolute advantage on the goods they are trading. It is sufficient to look at the shipping freight rate applicable in the Pacific to realise that, with in some instances a twenty-fold difference with the freight rates applicable in the major east-west shipping routes, this situation is not going to improve anytime soon. The situation is all the more concerning that globally the freight rate are substantially increasing for the first time in at least 3 decades. Climate change on the other hand is extremely likely to aggravate the comparative disadvantage referred above as Pacific States will be more dependent on foreign supplies with very little to trade in return. Not even a low cost and well-trained labour force. In this respect, the current negotiations on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which are taking place at the IMO, give a good illustration of the predicament of Pacific States. Through a schizophrenic dystopian sets of lenses, the IMO is considering setting up some mechanism to mitigate the disproportionate impacts on state caused by measures adopted to cut shipping GHG emissions whilst concomitantly considering comparative disadvantage of pacific states as the normal play of competition in international trade and the impact of climate change as the tale of another time. In this context, a coalition of pacific delegations led by Republic of the Marshal Islands and Solomon Islands have submitted a proposal for an International shipping Green House Gas levy tabled to be discussed at the next rounds of negotiations at the IMO. This proposal has already been criticized as a danger to the world economy and particularly to the economy of SIDS and LDCS as well as developing states more generally. It is believed that these criticisms are not scientifically based and this presentation will try to put into perspective the main factors that are recurrently omitted from the analysis that undermine the justifications for such a market-based measure.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
V Naval Science > VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
Depositing User: Pierre-Jean Bordahandy
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 03:10
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 03:10

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