For immediate release, 19 July 2015 
Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands  




The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) today became the first small island state to set a new 
emissions reduction target for 2025, and the first developing country to adopt the simpler and 
more robust absolute economy-wide target that is usually expected of industrialized countries.   
RMI’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution – or ‘INDC’ – includes a commitment to 
reduce emissions by 32% below 2010 levels by 2025, and also includes an indicative target to 
further reduce emissions to 45% below 2010 levels by 2030.  This is in line with RMI’s longer-
term vision to move towards net zero emissions by 2050, or earlier if possible.   
The preference for a 2025 target is consistent with calls by the US, Brazil and the world’s most 
vulnerable countries for shorter five-year commitments to avoid locking in insufficient ambition 
all the way to 2030, some 15 years away.  It will strengthen calls from a growing majority that 
all countries must come back to the table by 2020 to see if stronger action is possible, 
particularly as renewable energy and other low-carbon technology becomes cheaper and more 
As RMI once 

again mops up the damage

 after the latest in a series of climate disasters to hit the 

low-lying atoll nation, the new targets reaffirm RMI’s commitment to strong climate leadership 
in the Pacific region, as recognized by the 

Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership

 adopted in 

the country when it hosted Pacific Island Leaders in September 2013.  RMI’s new target builds 
on those previous efforts, but are now based on the more rigorous data collected during the 
preparation of RMI’s greenhouse gas inventory for 2010, which is soon to be submitted to the 
UNFCCC in the country’s ‘Second National Communication’. 
Speaking on the release of the INDC, the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 
Christopher J. Loeak, said:   
“I am proud that, despite the climate disasters hitting our shores with increasing 
regularity, we remain committed to showing the way in the transition to a low-carbon 
economy.  We may be small, but we exemplify the new reality that going low carbon is in 
everyone’s interests.  It improves our economy, our security, our health and our prosperity, 
particularly in the Pacific and more broadly in the developing world.” 
“With these ambitious targets, we are on track to nearly halve our emissions between 2010 
and 2030, en route to becoming emissions-free by the middle of the century.  The science 
says this is what’s required globally.  We have now joined the United States, the European 



Union, Ethiopia and others in setting a long-term decarbonization strategy.  When added 
together in Paris, these strategies will stamp fossil fuels with an expiry date.” 
“Having an absolute economy-wide target means no-one has to look into a crystal ball to 
understand what it means for how much CO


 goes into the atmosphere.  Unlike ‘below 

business-as-usual’ and ‘GDP intensity’ targets, our numbers don’t rely on unknown 
variables like size of population and future economic growth.  This is the simplest and most 
robust type of target that a country can adopt.  It says ‘we mean business’, and we’re not 
continuing with ‘business as usual’.” 
Speaking from Paris, where he is preparing to attend an informal Ministerial meeting on the 
negotiations convened by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, RMI Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, Tony de Brum, added:  
“Leadership requires vision.  Despite the costs of climate change spiraling out of control, 
we have once again shot for the upper end of what’s possible with our limited resources 
and international support.”   
“Since the 2008 oil price shock, the Marshall Islands has embarked on one the world’s 
most aggressive rollouts of renewables and energy efficiency measures.  This helped us to 
peak our emissions in 2009, just before Copenhagen.  But going forward, we’ll need to go 
harder, upscaling not only on solar, but also biofuels and wind, as well as the potential use 
of transformational technology, such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.  If we can 
show OTEC to work in our waters, it could change the global energy landscape altogether, 
delivering clean, green power to big coastal cities all over the world.”  
“With most of the big emitters’ targets now on the table, everyone knows we are falling 
well short.  This is not something that can be ignored, nor swept away by political 
expediency.  There can be no more excuses for delay or for low-balling ambition on the 
false premise that coal and other dirty fuels somehow increase prosperity.  Exactly the 
opposite is true.  Our message is simple: if one of the world’s smallest, poorest and most 
geographically isolated countries can do it, so can you.” 

Media contact: 
Thom Woodroofe 
RMI Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
+61 419 668 093  |  +44 7958 264 007