Given the role oceans can play in tackling climate change, we should be aiming for a ‘blue’ future over a ‘green’ one.
That’s according to research by Professor Darian McBain, published by the Grantham Research Institute.
The study reveals that oceans support more biodiversity than land – and given that they make up 71% of the Earth’s surface, they should be focused on more when it comes to tackling climate change.
Oceans have absorbed up to 30% of human-induced carbon emissions and 90% of excess heat, the research claims – but there must be a shift, as it’s unlikely the ocean can continue to bail out human actions.
Professor McBain says that the ocean economy contributes more than $1.5 trillion (£1.2tn) to the world, alongside millions of jobs.
It was announced today that a historic agreement was made by many of the world’s nations to protect 30% of all high seas by 2030, after ten years of deliberation. “The High Seas Treaty is, of course, very welcome,” McBain said.
The study also outlines the fact that the 14th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which focuses on marine wildlife, is the least funded out of all 17.
It calls for a blue finance approach – in the same vein as green finance – with blue bonds, markets for oceanic carbon and a push for overall investment in Earth’s waters.
Professor McBain concluded: “The health of the oceans and the health of our planet are intricately linked. We need to start thinking proactively about the ocean economy to help build resilience and adapt to some of the worst impacts of climate change and disruptions to ecosystems. There is a major opportunity to bring innovation to blue finance and it must be seized.”