Oceana promotes marine wind power during European Maritime Day
The phenomenon of acidification brought on by the ongoing emission of CO2 into the atmosphere represents a serious threat to the lives of our oceans
Press Release Date: May 20, 2010
Oceana is participating in European Maritime Day celebrated in Gijón from May 18 to 20 to show what oceanic acidification is and to present renewable energies as one of the key factors to mitigate the impacts produced by climate change.
CO2 is not only a powerful greenhouse gas: it is the main cause of the phenomenon known as acidification. Oceans act like major CO2 drains. They reduce its concentration in the atmosphere and thus play a major role in mitigating climate change-associated impacts such as global warming. Nevertheless, due to the growing and continuous emission of CO2, this buffering effect threatens to alter the oceans chemistry. This has dire consequences for ecosystems and the oceans’ biodiversity.
“Since the beginning of the industrial age, the oceans have absorbed 30% of the C02 emissions and 80% of the heat generated by greenhouse gases”, explains Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. “This has brought about a reduction of marine pH by 0.1 units. If we continue emitting CO2 into the atmosphere at the current pace and intensity, by the end of the century, reductions in the pH of 0.3-0.4 units could be reached. This will be devastating for our oceans.”
Oceana is calling for an urgent reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to stop ocean acidification. Acidification jeopardizes the survival of coral reefs and numerous marine species, and with them, the means of subsistence for millions of people worldwide.
To halt the acidification of our oceans, we must be capable of reducing and stabilizing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere at 350 ppm. To do so, we must reduce our emissions by 40% in comparison with 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80-95% by 2050 as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
To achieve these emissions cut, permanent decarbonization of the planet is necessary, and clean and renewable energies play a fundamental role toward this goal. The seas are an immense source of energy. Therefore those technologies that are capable of exploiting this important energy resource must be included on the road to decarbonization. Among them, marine wind power stands out nowadays because it has the greatest development and is the most competitive commercially-wise.
At Oceana we are calling for a widespread change toward the use of renewable energies. We have set our sights on the development of marine wind energy provided this development is carried out respectfully toward the environment and uses the best practices and passes the respective environmental impact evaluations”, explains Xavier Pastor.