The Paris Agreement and Its Impact on the Ocean
The Paris Agreement is a historic international agreement that aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement was adopted in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
One of the key elements of the Paris Agreement is the recognition of the importance of the ocean in regulating the Earth`s climate. The ocean absorbs approximately 25% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere by human activities, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, this also leads to ocean acidification, which can have significant impacts on marine ecosystems.
The Paris Agreement includes several measures aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean, including:
– Implementing measures to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, including forests and oceans.
– Strengthening the ability of countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, including through the development and implementation of adaptation plans for coastal areas and ocean ecosystems.
– Establishing a task force to develop recommendations for integrated ocean management.
In addition, the Paris Agreement has spurred action by governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address the impacts of climate change on the ocean. For example, the Ocean Conference, held at the United Nations in June 2017, brought together governments, scientists, and civil society organizations to discuss ways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas, and marine resources.
However, the Paris Agreement alone is not enough to protect the ocean from the impacts of climate change. Additional measures are needed to address overfishing, marine pollution, and other threats to ocean health. To this end, the United Nations has launched the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which aims to improve our understanding of the ocean and its role in regulating the Earth`s climate and to develop science-based solutions to address ocean challenges.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement is an important step forward in addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean. However, continued action and collaboration among governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector are needed to achieve a sustainable future for the ocean and the planet as a whole.