Are the oceans more valuable as a carbon sink than as a source of oil and natural gas?


By Todd Gillespie(Bloomberg) – Scientists want to find out how seas and oceans can help in the fight against climate change.

A multi-million dollar partnership between insurance group Convex Group Ltd and the Blue Marine Foundation will allow researchers to spend five years creating an open-access database showing how much carbon the world’s seabed can store.

This is a relatively little studied area compared to other forms of carbon sinks such as forests. The United Nations has supported the idea of ​​a “blue economy” that links economic growth with protecting the oceans, for example by pushing countries to do more to keep the waters clean.

“The ocean and its resources, while vital to all life on earth, are currently poorly understood and neglected,” said Professor Callum Roberts of the University of Exeter in England, principal scientist of the Seascape Survey. The study will attempt to infer “the amount of carbon stored in coastal seascapes and on continental shelves, as well as the vulnerability of these stocks to human damage,” he said.

The blue economy has already become a hallmark of sovereign debt markets after Seychelles launched a blue bond in 2018. The UK’s Office of National Statistics argued in an April study that the seabed of the countries could be more valuable as a carbon sink than as a source of oil and natural gas, although estimates have been limited due to lack of data.

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