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Blue Carbon For Our Planet Act on Capitol Hill (Reg. & Leg.)
Blue Carbon
Date: 2020-01-15
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) reports the Blue Carbon For Our Planet Act has been sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources; Science, Space, and Technology and the House Administration Committees. If enacted, the Act would create an Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon and a national map of coastal blue carbon ecosystems and their sequestration potential, study the effects of environmental stressors on rates of carbon sequestration, improve protections for existing coastal blue carbon ecosystems and restore degraded ecosystems.

Blue Carbon is the carbon stored in coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and sea grass meadows contain large stores of carbon deposited by vegetation and various natural processes over centuries. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. (Source: Florida Daily, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme, 13 Jan., 2019) Contact: The Blue Carbon Initiative, www.thebluecarboninitiative.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  Carbon Sink,  


Australians Announce "Blue Carbon" Science Hub (Int'l Report)
Blue Carbon
Date: 2019-09-09
Further to our 10th July report, the Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has announced the establishment of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Indian Ocean Blue Carbon Hub aimed at protecting and restoring the health of ocean "blue carbon" mangrove ecosystems.

The hub, which will be hosted by the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, will be jointly funded by the federal government and CSIRO to the tune of $600,000 over three years. According to hub director Dr Mat Vanderklift, "Blue carbon ecosystems are highly effective at carbon storage and protecting coastal communities against storms. The Indian Ocean is disproportionately important in blue carbon globally. The hub will allow us to accelerate action and go beyond talking about it, to doing something about it."

Mangrove systems sequester "blue carbon" -- CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere and locked up in coastal wetlands such as mangroves. (Source: The New Nation, Sept., 2019) Contact: Indian Ocean Blu Carbon Hub, Dr Mat Vanderklift, Dir. Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, +61 8 6488 7270, www.uwa.edu.au › facilities › indian-ocean-marine-research-centre

More Low-Carbon Energy News Mangrove,  Blue Carbon,  Climate Change,  


Mangrove "Blue Carbon" Sequestration Endangered (Int'l Report)
Methane,Climate Change
Date: 2019-07-10
In the Land Down Under, researchers from Southern Cross University are reporting their research has revealed that dead mangrove trees released us much as 8 times more of the potent greenhouse gas methane than living mangrove trees. The research was brought about by a recent catastrophic climate-induced coastal mangrove die-back in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The findings, published in the international journal New Phytologist, have implications for scientific understanding of how mangrove systems sequester "blue carbon" -- CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere and locked up in coastal wetlands such as mangroves. (Source: Southern Cross University, mycg.com.au, 7 July, 2019)Contact: Southern Cross University, Luke Jeffrey, Phd. Candidate, +61 1800 626 481, www.scu.edu.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Mangrove,  Climate Change,  Methane,  


Fiji Submits Low Emission Development Strategy to UNFCCC (Int'l)
Fiji Carbon Emissions
Date: 2019-03-01
In the South Pacific, The Government of Fiji reports it is the 11th country to submit its long-term Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) 2018 -- 2050 strategy to the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Fiji's LEDS sets out long-term emission reductions and defines sustainable and resilient economy-wide mitigations pathways until 2050. It also addresses: sector-specific targets and measures; social, economic and environmental dimensions; education, capacity building and awareness raising; and a framework for monitoring and evaluating the LEDS. It is also among of the world's first LEDS to address the Blue Carbon Sector and the island country's mangrove ecosystems.

The LEDS also details Fiji's objective of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all economic sectors, and details the following potential low emission scenarios:

  • a Business-as-Usual (BAU) Unconditional Scenario that would be implemented and financed without reliance on external or international financing;
  • A BAU Conditional Scenario conditional on external or international financing to implement mitigation actions;
  • a High-Ambition Scenario that projects ambitions beyond those already specified, and achieves significant emission reductions by 2050 compared with the BAU scenarios; and
  • a Very High Ambition Scenario that projects ambitions well beyond those already specified, and in which most sectors achieve net-zero or negative emissions by 2050.

    Fiji aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all economic sectors without threatening the country's long-term development objectives. (Source: UNFCCC. Feb., 2019) Contact: UNFCCC, [Fiji LEDS 2018-2050, UN Climate Change, +49 228 815 1000, secretariat@unfccc.int, www.unfccc.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UNFCCC,  Fifi,  Carbon Emissions,  Blue Carbon,  


  • South America's First CO2-Neutral Tort Certified (Int'l)
    Carbon Neutral
    Date: 2019-01-04
    In South America, the Ecuador Ministry of Environment and the Quito-based environmental ratings agency Sambito SA, are reporting the Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA) port has been certified to ISO 14064-1 standards and is South America's first carbon neutral port.

    As part of its continuing compliance, CGSA has set-up a team to verify and create mechanisms to lower the port's industrial emissions, and has also sponsored the preservation of 10,000 hectares of mangrove forests and 4,600 hectares of native forests as part of its carbon emissions-climate change mitigation efforts. (Source: Port Strategy, 3 Jan, 2019) Contact: Sambito SA, +593 (2) 246 602, www.sambito.com.ec; Contecon Guayaquil, +593 4-600-6300, www.cgsa.com.ec/inicio.aspx

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Ellgrass CO2 Sink Loss Studied (Int'l, Research Report)
    Carbob Sequestration
    Date: 2018-11-02
    In a new study spanning coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, researchers at Abo Akademi University explored the magnitude of organic carbon stocks stored and sequestered by eelgrass meadows -- the most abundant seagrass species in temperate waters.

    According to the study, eelgrass organic carbon stocks were comparable to organic carbon stocks of tropical seagrass species, as well as mangroves, salt marshes and terrestrial ecosystems. The researchers also found that on average, eelgrass meadows stored 27.2 tons of organic carbon per hectare, although the variation between the regions was considerable

    In the marine systems, the blue carbon species alone account for up to 33 pct of the total oceanic CO2 uptake. In contrast to terrestrial soils, which usually store carbon up to decades, the carbon stored in blue carbon ecosystems may persist for timescales of millennia or longer and thus, contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and alleviation of the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Despite the importance of these ecosystems, to date, none of them are included in the global carbon trading programmes. Alarmingly, in the past 50 years, at least one-third of the distribution area of coastal vegetated ecosystems has been lost. (Source: Abo Akademi University, Public Press Release, 31 Oct., 2018) Contact: Abo Akademi University, Christoffer Bostrom , Associate Professor in Environmental and Marine Biology, +358 50 431 8226, christoffer.bostrom@abo.fi, www.abo.fi

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  CO2,  Carbon Sink,  Carbon Sequestration,  EllGrass,  


    Amazon Mangroves Key to Carbon Storage, says Study (Ind. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2018-09-26
    In Corvallis, Scientists led by Oregon State University ecologist Prof. J. Boone Kauffman have determined for the first time that the Amazon's waterlogged coastal mangrove forests, which are being clear cut for cattle pastures and shrimp ponds, store significantly more carbon per acre than the region's rainforest.

    The recently released long-term study offers a better understanding of how mangrove deforestation contributes to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming.

    The Brazilian mangrove forest fringes the entirety of the Atlantic Coast at the mouth of the Amazon, the largest river in the world with the largest mangrove forest. Mangroves -- aka Blue Carbon -- represent 0.6 pct of all the world's tropical forests but their deforestation accounts for as much as 12 pct of GHG emissions from all tropical deforestation.

    Partial funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program. (Source: Oregon State University, KTVZ.COM, 24 Sept., 2018) Contact: Oregon State University, J. Boone Kauffman, Research Leader, www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Kauffman3

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sequestration,  Mangrove,  


    Apple Supporting Carbon Sequestration through Mangrove Restoration (Ind. Report)
    Mangrove, Apple
    Date: 2018-09-17
    Smart Phone juggernaut Apple reports it is investing an undisclosed sum in a project in Colombia to restore mangroves and sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons (18,739 tons) of carbon dioxide in two years. That’s equal to the emissions that the fleet of vehicles updating Apple Maps will produce over the coming decade, according to the Apple release.

    Beyond cutting the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, scientists show that we will also need to pull carbon dioxide from the air to avoid catastrophic climate change. There are six so-called “negative-emissions technologies” that can help us get there: afforestation and reforestation; enhanced weathering (using minerals that capture carbon dioxide); soil carbon (tweaking the crops and forests we currently grow to absorb more carbon); biochar (using a special kind charcoal as to trap carbon dioxide); BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which requires capturing carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass like wood and then burying it underground); and DAC (direct air capture, which involves the use of machines that are essentially trees on steroids to suck carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground).

    Among those negative-emissions technologies, mangrove restoration would be classed as reforestation. The Conservation International project would cover an area of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) in the Sinu river delta. The NGO will use the money raised for the project to help the 12,000 people in the community who use the mangroves for food, firewood, and livelihoods. Conservation International believes the carbon offsets will provide financial security to the region and develop sustainable ways to support tourism and fisheries.

    (Source: Apple, PR, Sept., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Sequestration news,  Apple news,  Mangrove news,  



    Date: 2018-09-17
    Apple’s newest smartphones may not have received all-round praise, but its latest environmental initiative surely should. On Friday (Sep. 14), the world’s most valuable company said it is investing an undisclosed sum in a project in Colombia to restore mangroves and sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons (18,739 tons) of carbon dioxide in two years. That’s equal to the emissions that the fleet of vehicles updating Apple Maps will produce over the coming decade.

    “Mangroves live at the edge of the land and sea, providing local communities with coastal protection, habitat for their fisheries, and a wealth of biodiversity,” according to Conservation International, an NGO that’s leading the mangrove restoration project. “These and other ocean wetlands store up to 10 times the carbon per unit area as terrestrial forests, making them a vital ally in the fight against climate change.” A 2016 study of 3,000 deforested mangrove patches found that most of them were being cut down for the use of growing rice, palm trees, or expanding fisheries.

    Beyond cutting the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, scientists show that we will also need to pull carbon dioxide from the air to avoid catastrophic climate change. There are six so-called “negative-emissions technologies” that can help us get there: afforestation and reforestation; enhanced weathering (using minerals that capture carbon dioxide); soil carbon (tweaking the crops and forests we currently grow to absorb more carbon); biochar (using a special kind charcoal as to trap carbon dioxide); BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which requires capturing carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass like wood and then burying it underground); and DAC (direct air capture, which involves the use of machines that are essentially trees on steroids to suck carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground).

    Among those negative-emissions technologies, mangrove restoration would be classed as reforestation. The Conservation International project would cover an area of 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) in the Sinu river delta. The NGO will use the money raised for the project to help the 12,000 people in the community who use the mangroves for food, firewood, and livelihoods. Conservation International believes the carbon offsets will provide financial security to the region and develop sustainable ways to support tourism and fisheries.

    Earlier this year, Apple also announced that all of its electricity use in 45 countries is powered by 100% renewable energy. Some of the success of such environmental shifts are down to the lower cost of renewable energy, but much credit also goes to environmental campaigns like Greenpeace’s Click Clean that hold tech companies to account on their sustainability promises. That said, there’s still a long way to go if Apple plans to cut emissions from all its energy use. (Source: Apple, PR, Sept., 2018)


    TNC, XL Catlin Collaborate on Blue Carbon Credits (Ind. Report)
    TNC, XL Catlin
    Date: 2018-05-11
    The Nature Conservancy (TNC)and insurance/reinsurance firm XL Catlin in Bermuda are touting a project to develop Blue Carbon Resilience Credits that will value the combined carbon sequestration and resilience benefits provided by coastal wetland ecosystems.

    With XL Catlin's support, TNC will develop a system of credits assigning a market value to the resilience services provided by these historically under valueded cosystems. The hope behind this initiative is that, for the first time, insurance firms and other businesses will be able to offset their carbon footprint while simultaneously better underdstanding the contribution they are making to reducing coastal hazards in the world's most vulnerable coastal areas.

    Coastal wetlands -- salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves -- sequester billions of tonnes of "blue carbon" from the atmosphere at concentrations up to five times greater than terrestrial forests. As an increasing number of companies are purchasing carbon credits to offset their footprints, this credit will enable a valuation of the carbon sequestration and coastal resilience benefits that wetlands provide both businesses and communities.

    Unlike other climate mitigation solutions coastal wetlands not only sequester carbon, they also protect coastlines by absorbing incoming wave energy and providing storm protection. Additionally, a recent study found that wetlands prevented $625 million in direct flood damages from Hurricane Sandy in the United States. As such, coastal wetlands provide both carbon sequestration and resilience services- a powerful combination in a world of changing climate.

    TNC will explore different options to value the resilience services provided by coastal wetlands and to develop a credit product to support ongoing wetland conservation. One of these options could include a numeric ranking system assigning a dollar value to wetlands based on factors such as their potential for storm impact reduction, location relative to vulnerable communities, local economic activities and assets, and potential benefits from habitat restoration. The figures generated by the rankings, combined with the carbon storage capacity of a given wetland, would generate Blue Carbon Resilience Credits. These credits would then offer organizations the capacity to manage their carbon footprints whilst acting as the funding mechanism for wetland conservation, increasing coastal resilience for communities. (Source: The Nature Conservancy, 10 May, 2018) Contact: The Nature Conservancy, Maria Damanki, Global Managing Director for the Ocean, www.nature.org: XL Catlin, Paul Jardine, CEO, www.xlcatlin.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  


    Aussie Marine Heatwave Triggered Massive CO2 Release (Int'l)
    Seagrass
    Date: 2018-03-19
    In the Land Down Under, a recently completed and released study from Edith Cowan University and a team of international researchers reports a severe heatwave off north-western Western Australia hammered the world's largest region of seagrass -- a major carbon sink -- causing the release of as much as 9,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Two months of temperatures 2 - 4 degrees above average in the summer of 2010-11 resulted in the loss of about 1000 square-kilometres of seagrass -- aka a "blue carbon sink" -- in Shark Bay by 2014, or about a fifth of its extent, according to the paper which was published last week in Nature Climate Change. Shark Bay accounts for about 2.4 pct of the world's total seagrass area.

    One hectare of seagrass, along with mangroves, has 30 - 50 times the potential of Amazonian forest in terms of [carbon] mitigation, according to study researcher and lead author Oscar Sorrano. It also has the potential to release huge amounts of carbon-dioxide back to the atmosphere -- potentially increasing the likelihood of further heatwaves by fuelling global warming.

    The researchers - ranging from Australia, Spain, Malaysia, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - estimated the loss from the heatwave event released as much as 9 million tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent annual emissions of 800,000 homes or 1,600,000 cars. The estimates were based on modelling releases based in-situ studies from 50 sites. (Source: Edith Cowan University, Nature Climate Change, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar., 2018) Contact: Edith Cowan University, Oscar Serrano, Researcher, Paper Lead Author, +61 8 6304 0000, www.ecu.edu.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Seagrass,  Blue Carbon,  Carbon Sink,  CO2,  

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