Friday, May 29, 2009

Oceans should be protected in new climate deal

We are only couple of months away from the crucial climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, where world should agree new climate deal that would stop climate change impact increasing even further. The main question at these negotiations will be greenhouse gas emissions, or more precisely how much should we reduce greenhouse gas emissions in years to come. Many experts believe that there should be another question on new climate deal agenda, namely the question of ocean protection that simply has to be included in new climate deal.

Many people are still unaware that our oceans also need protection from global warming, climate change, and of course pollution. This is why representatives from over 70 nations at the World Ocean Conference in Indonesia are asking for oceans to be included on the agenda of global climate change talks. Cuts in ocean pollution, funding for sustainable development in developing countries, greater research into how climate change affects the ocean and the role oceans play in fighting climate change are all needed to reverse the impact of global warming on the oceans. Let us not forget that oceans absorb large quantities of CO2, and without them on our side it will be impossible to tackle climate change.

Oceans, as well as forests, are crucial natural defenders against global warming because of their CO2 absorbing ability. But unless we significantly stop greenhouse gas emissions they will lose this significant ability because there would be too much CO2 to absorb. Ocean pollution and acidification are also making things more difficult than they should really be, and current percentage of less than 1% of the world's oceans that have been given protection status will not be enough in years to come.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was not far away from truth when he warned the world how "the future of the oceans is a life and death issue for humanity". U.S . Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that all nations have to work harder to conserve oceans and fight climate change but we are still yet to see some moves in the right direction from U.S. side. So far it has been all talks and very little action, not only in U.S. but in other developed countries as well. This will definitely have to change, and developed countries will have to show more commitment to this cause. Oceans will be helped the most if rich countries make big CO2 cuts, and this is something these countries are still reluctant to do.

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