Experts and supporters argue that the ocean will participate in the fight against climate change

Climate scientists and advocates are calling on governments around the world to go beyond environmentally friendly policymaking when it comes to climate change. They say the fight against global warming lacks a significant shadow.


Countries must recognize the important role that oceans play in developing policies to limit climate change and protect marine ecosystems, the UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation said yesterday. Said in a report approved by the home and supporters.

More than half of the world’s biological carbon is captured by the flora and fauna that live in or around the ocean, but this so-called blue carbon and its associated ecosystems are largely ignored by climate policy, the report said. The letter attached to states.

This report highlights studies showing that mangrove forests store up to four times as much carbon per hectare as rainforests. Seagrass meadows store approximately 20 gigatons of carbon worldwide.according to Conservation International, Up to 10 times more carbon is stored in coastal habitats than in tropical forests.

This means that if ecosystems are restored and protected, the ocean can absorb large amounts of atmospheric carbon. report To tell. Blue carbon sinks such as mangroves, seagrass, salt marshes, and kelp forests can capture up to 200 million metric tons of CO2 annually, according to the report.

“Our coastal ecosystems are champions in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in soil,” says George Mason University, studying how coastal wetlands and forests respond to climate change. And said Patrick Megonigal, the signer of the letter.

Even marine wildlife, such as the great whales, capture and store carbon in the body for life.

However, the report states that these ecosystems and the organisms they support are threatened by rising water temperatures, acidification, overfishing and commercial transport.

Seagrass is estimated to release nearly 300 million tonnes of carbon each year, based on the proportion of lost ecosystems. This figure is higher for coastal wetlands and mangroves, which account for up to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from logging, even though they are less than 1% of tropical forest area. the study NS Nature Geoscience..

“Free human activity is turning these incredible carbon sinks into greenhouse gas emissions,” said Isabella Schleimann, a climate activist and lead author of the Environmental Justice Foundation report. I mentioned in.

She argues that they don’t have to be.

“Blue carbon solutions are an unmanageable achievement in our ambitious portfolio of climate mitigation policies and can address three emergencies: climate crisis, biodiversity disruption and human rights,” she said. Told.

NS letter As part of our commitment under the Paris Agreement, we urge leaders to set goals for the protection and restoration of marine ecosystems. It also calls for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and the expansion of marine protected areas to cover at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. Currently, the reserve is less than 8%.

Marine protected areas also do not have the resources and enforcement powers for effective protection. The same applies to national and international treaties governing the management and protection of the ocean, the report said.

Reports and letters Blueprint For marine conservation aimed at achieving the 30% target.

Many of these measures help reduce carbon emissions and protect communities from the effects of climate change. For example, blue carbon ecosystems help protect coasts from rising sea levels and severe storms, and also serve as carbon sinks while providing habitat for fisheries.

Prior to the April White House Climate Summit, Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and adviser to the Biden administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, said, “The ocean has played a prominent role in climate mitigation until very recently. I didn’t. ” “Now science is really leading and telling us that the ocean has a tremendous opportunity to offer additional ways to mitigate climate that were not previously visible on radar screens. . “

The organizers of yesterday’s report argue that marine conservation is not a substitute for aggressive decarbonization.

“Policymakers tend to silo environmental behavior. Conservation policies are formulated separately from decarbonization policies and sacrifice both,” said lead author Schleimann. “What we need now is ambitious, holistic, and integrated action.”

Reprinted from E & E News With permission from POLITICO and LLC. Copyright 2021. E & E News provides essential news for energy and environmental professionals. Experts and supporters argue that the ocean will participate in the fight against climate change

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