Operationalizing marketable blue carbon

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 5, 20 May 2022
Macreadie P.I., Robertson A.I., Spinks B., Adams M.P., Atchison J.M., Bell-James J. et al.

The global carbon sequestration and avoided emissions potentially achieved via blue carbon is high (∼3% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions); however, it is limited by multidisciplinary and interacting uncertainties spanning the social, governance, financial, and technological dimensions. We compiled a transdisciplinary team of experts to elucidate these challenges and identify a way forward. Key actions to enhance blue carbon as a natural climate solution include improving policy and legal arrangements to ensure equitable sharing of benefits; improving stewardship by incorporating indigenous knowledge and values; clarifying property rights; improving financial approaches and accounting tools to incorporate co-benefits; developing technological solutions for measuring blue carbon sequestration at low cost; and resolving knowledge gaps regarding blue carbon cycles. Implementing these actions and operationalizing blue carbon will achieve measurable changes to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, provide multiple co-benefits, and address national obligations associated with international agreements.