Ocean holds solutions to help tackle climate change, report finds

(Eco Business, 24 Sep 2019) Five actions could deliver one-fifth of the emissions cuts needed to keep global warming to 1.5C.

Scaling up renewables, greening the shipping industry and eating more seaweed are among the ocean-based solutions that could help to meet global targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark report.

In the first analysis of its kind, scientists and policymakers found that the ocean can play a much bigger role in climate mitigation than previously thought.

It has the potential to deliver more than one-fifth (21 per cent) of the emission cuts needed by 2050 in order to keep global average temperature rise to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5C – the equivalent of closing all of the world’s coal-fired power plants.

It shows that the ocean is much more than a victim of climate change. It is also a powerful source of solutions. “Given political will, appropriate policy and investment in technology, the ocean could be a new ally in the fight,” the authors write in the report entitled “The ocean as a solution for climate change: Five opportunities for action”.

“Our future health and prosperity are closely linked to the state of the ocean,” said Erna Solberg, co-chair of the panel and the prime minister of Norway. “This report signals an exciting new pathway to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Coupled with land-based emissions cuts, it shows that ocean-climate action could provide a lifeline for the economies, food sources, coastal communities and sea life at the frontline of climate disruption.”

It was released in New York on Monday at the UN Climate Action Summit, two days ahead of the UN climate panel (IPCC)’s special report on the ocean and cryosphere, which is expected to highlight the devastating impacts that climate change is having on the ocean and human wellbeing.

External link

Eco Business, 24 Sep 2019: Ocean holds solutions to help tackle climate change, report finds