Green and Blue Growth: Protecting our Oceans and Ourselves

During a meeting on Oceans Day, Professor Turley spoke about ocean acidification. Already, the ocean has absorbed 28% of atmospheric CO2 which is causing the pH of our water to decrease. By 2100, average increase in temperature of water will grow by +3.2C. Even with a CO2 target of 2 degrees, the ocean is still at a moderately high risk level. From the ocean’s perspective, the 2 degree target is more of an upper limit than an ideal goal.

Sir King stated that without further action after Paris, we are faced with risks from rising climate change and sea levels. Calcutta, New York, and Shanghai will not be livable if we continue to act as we are.

Dr. Jarraud said that the Philippines has 1.2 cm of sea level rise per year, much higher than global average. We need to develop risk service initiatives and strengthen ocean and atmosphere observation systems.

Dr. Semedo: Currently, fisheries support 10-12% of global population including many coastal communities. However, availability of modern fish is predicted to decrease by 40% in tropical countries. Her 3 priorities:

  1. Improve management and use of aquatic resources by implementing FAO code of conduct for responsible fishing.
  2. Develop well-planned and -managed sustainable agriculture.
  3. Strengthen resilience of fisheries and agriculture in coastal communities.

Ambassador Friday talked about investing in a blue economy. In the Caribbean, due to hurricanes, countries are experiencing a very high level of indebtedness. In Grenada, debt servicing is costing 40% of the operating budget every year. We need to get islands to where they have enough economic growth that they can adapt and invest in their own resilience. Grenada has come up with duplicatable investment ideas worth over 1 billion dollars, and wants to share them.

Addressing the Effects of Climate Change on Oceans and on Coastal and SIDS Populations: The Scientific Evidence, Scenarios, and Choices for Decisionmakers.

Dec 4, 2015, 12:05 – 1:00 PM, COP21, “Green Zone”, Le Bourget, Paris, France

Speakers: H.E. Dr. Angus Friday, Ambassador to the United States, Grenada; H.E. Ms. Yuriko Koike, Member, House of Representatives, Japan; Prof. Carol Turley, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK; Sir David King, Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, United Kingdom; Dr. Michel Jarraud, Secretary General, World Meteorological Organization; Dr. Helena Semedo, Deputy Director GEneral, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat; Prof. Hans Portner, Co-Chair, Working Group II (Impacts and Adaptation), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Professor, Marine Biology, Alfred Wegener Institute and University of Bremen

Written By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

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