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Int’l Inuit org, small island states call for increased action on shipping impacts (RCI)

December 19, 2022

With the wind down of the most recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting on Friday, international Inuit and representatives of small island states are calling for more to be done to tackle the climate impacts of shipping.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are calling for the IMO’s greenhouse gas reduction targets to fall in line with the goal of the Paris climate agreement of 1.5 degrees C and for more concrete action to be taken on reducing black carbon emissions.

“This week ICC supported a proposal from SIDS to strengthen the IMO’s ambition in cutting climate warming emissions from shipping,” Lisa Koperqualuk, the ICC Canada president, said in a news release.

“The disappearance of Arctic sea ice is a critical issue for us. Sea ice is integral to Inuit culture, transportation, harvesting, and economy. Without it, and with it thinning, our way of life is disrupted in a profound way.”

Disproportionately impacted by climate change

John Kautoke from the Tonga IMO delegation said Indigenous peoples and small island states are disproportionately affected by climate impacts and needed urgent action.

“Fundamentally, 1.5 aligned policies will be the minimum we must do to ensure all countries and communities survive the climate crisis,” Kautoke said.

“Our collaboration with the Inuit Circumpolar Council has sought to merge our collective voices [… ]who are disproportionately impacted by the impacts of climate change, and the damaging effects of black carbon impacting the Arctic.”