Climate scientists and ocean advocates call on governments around the world to go beyond green decision-making on climate change issues. They say there is a lack of critical shadows in the fight against global warming.
The UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation stated in a report approved by environmental experts and advocates yesterday that countries must recognize the important role of the ocean in limiting climate change and formulating and protecting marine ecosystems.
A letter attached to the report stated that more than half of the world’s biological carbon is captured by animals and plants living in or around the ocean, but this so-called blue carbon and its related ecosystems are mostly ignored in climate policy.
The research highlighted in the report shows that mangroves store four times as much carbon per hectare as tropical rain forests. Seagrass meadows store nearly 20 gigatons of carbon globally.according to Protection international, The carbon stored in coastal habitats is 10 times that of tropical forests.
This means that if marine ecosystems are restored and protected, they can absorb large amounts of atmospheric carbon. Report Say. According to the report, blue carbon sinks such as mangroves, seagrass, salt marshes and seaweed forests can capture up to 200 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
“Our coastal ecosystem is the champion of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil,” said Patrick Meganigal, who studies how coastal swamps and forests respond to climate change at George Mason University, who is the signature of the letter. people.
Even marine wild animals like big whales capture and store carbon in their bodies during their lifetimes.
However, the report claims that these ecosystems and the organisms they support are threatened by rising water temperatures, acidification, overfishing and commercial shipping.
Based on the rate of ecosystem loss, it is estimated that seagrass releases nearly 300 million tons of carbon each year. This figure is even higher for coastal wetlands and mangroves. Although they account for less than 1% of tropical forest area, they account for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. A study exist Natural Earth Science.
“Unconstrained human activities are turning these incredible carbon sinks into sources of greenhouse gas emissions,” climate activist and lead author of the Environmental Justice Foundation report, Isabella Schleimann, in an email Say.
She argued that they don’t have to.
“In an ambitious climate mitigation policy portfolio, blue carbon solutions can be a low-hanging fruit and address the triple emergency of climate crisis, biodiversity collapse and human rights,” she said.
This letter Urge leaders to set goals to protect and restore marine ecosystems as part of their commitment under the Paris Agreement. It also called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and requested that marine protected areas be expanded to cover at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. Currently, less than 8% of marine areas are protected.
Marine protected areas also lack effective protection resources and law enforcement powers. The report points out that the same applies to national and international ocean management and protection conventions.
Reports and letters point to one blueprint Aims to achieve a 30% target of marine protection.
Many of these measures help reduce carbon emissions and protect communities from the effects of climate change. Experts say, for example, blue carbon ecosystems can help protect the coast from rising sea levels and severe storms, or provide habitat for fisheries, while also acting as a carbon sink.
“The ocean has only recently played an important role in mitigating climate change,” Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and consultant at the Biden Government’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, said before the April White House Climate Summit. “Science is indeed in the leading position now. It tells us that the ocean has an extraordinary opportunity to provide us with other ways to alleviate the climate, and these methods have not appeared on our radar screens before.”
The organizers of the report yesterday believe that ocean protection cannot replace active decarbonization.
“Policy makers tend to isolate environmental actions: protection policies and decarbonization policies are formulated separately, which is detrimental to both,” said lead author Shleyman. “What we need now is ambitious, comprehensive and joint action.”
forward from Electronics News With permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2021. E&E News provides important news for energy and environmental professionals.