An already weak Ocean Treaty is fatally weakened by continued fossil fuel use
*We define this as instantly available, zero carbon and sustainable – no biomass combustion, no natural gas burning, no nuclear energy
For the first time, the members of the United Nations have agreed on a unified treaty aimed at protecting biodiversity of the High Seas. Everyone is jubilant about the ocean treaty – but, as was the Paris Climate Accord, this is celebrated as a breakthrough while there is less than meets the eyes.
Above all there is little if anything about zero carbon emissions to be found. At 422 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere – more than 50% above stable levels – this surely is the very precondition for making it work, in a world oversaturated with greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
This means that in order for the protection of the oceans and their biodiversity to work AND for it to be effective as carbon sink, fossil fuel emissions have to cease immediately. Without a rapid elimination of fossil fuels this treaty is a fatal policy path.
These ‚30%’ – 30×30 or even 50×50 – are popular slogans, but despite IPCC endorsement, they lack any scientific basis. Some ecosystems may require 100% of those remaining while others may require less than those values. The oceans likely require much more protection on an absolute basis because of their sheer scale. How will protecting fragmented zones that somehow add up to 30% be adequate for a three-dimensionally interconnected fluid system? If we protected only 30% of the atmosphere we would all be suffocating.
The background to this is the false and murky world of ‚Net Zero’ or ‚Climate Neutrality’. In its lulling breeze a dangerous wave now laps at the shores of science and business: Climate Engineering. After thirty years of weak climate targets, even weaker and deferred efforts – weak ‘Climate Warnings’, or vague recommendations of the German science advisory council, watered-down UNFCCC meetings and government inaction it is no wonder that mankind now discovers that the soup of the proverial frogs is boiling. But instead of turning off the stove, the climate engineers recommend that we don our asbestos suits, and pour ourselves a cold drink.
Worse yet: ever more CO2 and other GHGs are to be dumped into the oceans, their capacity to absorb more waste is to be enhanced by wrong-headed, publicly funded climate engineering project such as the German CDR Mare program – a CO2 removal research project for the oceans. Far from ‚removal’, a number of ‚ingenious’ methods are developed and tested to increase the ocean’s capacity to absorb ever more fossil waste – https://cdrmare.de/en/.
We call for an end of these wasteful projects that under the guise of ‚climate neutrality’ continue the fossil fuel combustion frenzy. Instead, 100% Renewable Energy storage and supply systems must be implemented immdiately, in order for oceanic and terrestrial systems to have a chance to recover – and save us all.
Professor Peter Droege and Professor William R. Moomaw