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Blue carbon dissent

Sikeli Qounadovu
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THE Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has received wide opposition towards the trading of blue carbon.

This follows the strong call by Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga to completely ban blue carbon trading.

PIDF general secretary Francois Martel confirmed that many countries in the Pacific were not in favour of carbon trading.

"Blue carbon is carbon captured by the world's oceans and coastal ecosystems.

"This carbon is stored in living organisms in oceans and stored in the form of biomass and sediments from mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses and algae.

"You have carbon dioxide that is taken out of the forest, and for mangrove areas, seagrasses and lagoons absorb much more carbon than the context of the forest for example, so this is what blue carbon is about."

Mr Martel said trading blue carbon was not the solution to reducing global carbon emissions.

"Blue carbon is carbon that you can possibly trade, and you will hear the Tuvalu PM indicating they were not in favour of trading blue carbon because when you trade in terms of climate change you just move the problem.

"It gives money to some programs in mitigation and adaptation but at the same time it actually allows countries who want to purchase that blue carbon to actually continue to emit emission that's the main issue.

"Many countries in the Pacific were not in favour of carbon trading. They are not in favour of carbon offsetting because of that, because it does not really address the main problem of reducing the emissions.

"It allows business as usual to continue and does not resolve the problem of climate impact."

Meanwhile 90 per cent of global trade is through shipping. If blue carbon trade is not banned it can directly mean, the shipping industry's commitment to the reduction of global carbon emission will not be sometime soon.

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