Samoa launches Tala project to spur maritime decarbonisation efforts

Samoa has launched a new multi-million Tala project to accelerate climate change mitigation efforts through the low-carbon transition of its land and maritime transport sectors away from the country’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

Government of Samoa

As disclosed, the Climate Action Pathways for Island Transport (CAP-IT): Accelerating the Decarbonization of Samoa’s Land and Maritime Transport Sectors project will begin in April this year, following the official signing of the project document by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Samoa in New York this week.

The CAP-IT project is a component of the Japan-funded regional project Promoting Green Transformation in the Pacific Region towards Net-zero and Climate-Resilient Development, also supporting Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu in achieving their green transformation ambitions for a more inclusive, climate-resilient future.

The $36.8 million regional project, with a country allocation of $15.5 million for Samoa, is scheduled for completion in March 2025.

Samoa’s ocean dependence and heavy reliance on the shipping industry as its national economic lifeline, similarly, deems necessary the decarbonization of the maritime transport sector with the need to explore low-carbon technologies and operational improvements to fuel efficiency and emissions reductions

In turn, this is expected to advance the achievement of Samoa’s enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“On behalf of the Government of Japan, it is a great honor to support this initiative tackling climate change issues across the Pacific region by funding CAP-IT in collaboration with the UNDP,” said Keisuke Senta, Ambassador of Japan to Samoa.

“The continuation of UNDP’s long-standing collaboration with the Government of Japan, a trusted partner, will undoubtedly provide urgent and critical support to Samoa to tackle the climate crisis head on, leveraging green transformation pathways that prioritize leaving no one behind in the participation, access and safety of land and maritime transport for all,” said Jorn Sorensen, UNDP Resident Representative.

Japan is committed to tackling climate change by declaring international commitments such as becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and reducing GHG emissions by 46% by fiscal year 2030 in comparison to its fiscal year 2013 levels.

To strengthen its commitments, the Government of Japan has just approved a roadmap for Green Transformation (GX) on 10 February 2023, to boost its contribution to global decarbonization with many initiatives such as the creation of clean markets and the promotion of innovative cooperation amongst others.

Relevant to the Asia & Pacific region, Japan has also determined to contribute to decarbonization by creating the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC).

Furthermore, Japan created CAP-IT as an extension of the AZEC, based on the following statement by Prime Minister Kishida in June 2022: “Pacific Island Countries are also important partners for the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. We will contribute to strengthening the foundation for their sustainable and resilient economic development, including addressing the existential challenge of climate change.”