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Maritime Forum

New study on Blue Carbon in the EU

seagrass, saltmarsh, mangrove

As parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC,) its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, the EU and its member countries are required to report to the UN annually on their greenhouse gas emissions ('greenhouse gas inventories'). Additionally, all EU countries are required to monitor their emissions under the EU's Climate Monitoring Mechanism, which sets the EU's own internal reporting rules based on the internationally agreed obligations.

This study on  “Wetlands and Blue Carbon” aims to identify how EU Member States currently report “Wetlands and Blue Carbon” in their greenhouse gas emissions and what steps EU Member States are taking to improve the accuracy of this reporting.

For the purposes of this study, coastal blue carbon is defined and limited to carbon-accumulating in coastal habitats structured by rooted plants, such as mangroves, tidal saltmarshes and seagrass meadows that are relatively amenable to management. Other marine ecosystems that may sequester carbon are out of scope. Likewise, other services to local communities such as protection against flooding and to biodiversity are out of scope

The specific objectives of the study are to

  • review and improve the mapping of wetlands in the EU-27;
  • identify how Member States in the EU report greenhouse gas inventories in the different wetland classes;
  • assess measures for increased sequestration of blue carbon..

The study is led by Trinomics of Rotterdam, Netherlands, an international consultant and includes Ricardo a global environmental consultancy with offices throughout the EU and Blue Carbon Lab - a team of 40 researchers. It starts in December 2023 and will finish after 16 months

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