Australia announces $ 100 million for “blue carbon” marine ecosystem

The federal government has announced a $ 100 million ($ 78 million) investment package to improve Australia’s marine habitat and coastal environment.

This investment targets ecosystems that include seagrass and mangroves that absorb and store carbon dioxide, also known as “blue carbon.”

Promotions to mitigate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are part of Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, which is to achieve net zero by 2050.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the ocean and coast play an important role in managing carbon dioxide levels.

“Australia has always understood that how we manage the marine and coastal environment determines the success or failure of our global efforts to tackle climate change,” Morrison said.

“These mangrove environments are often referred to as the lungs of the sea,” he said. “Due to the purification effects on our marine environment, some may even call them the livers of the ocean.”

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The Morrison government has invested 100 million (US $ 78 million) in improving marine habitats and coastal environments. Squid swims off the coast of Cabbage Tree Bay in Sydney, Australia (image by EDGAR PACIFIC PHOTOGRAPHY)

Study by Edith Cowan University Australian seagrass, mangroves and salt marshes have been shown to absorb approximately 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Studies show that this carbon dioxide remains trapped in the soil for thousands of years, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 4 million cars.

Part of the package will invest $ 30.6 million in the restoration and conservation of the blue carbon ecosystem, including four major projects in Australia and three in developing countries in the region.

An additional $ 39.9 million will be invested in marine park management, of which $ 15 million will be used for marine discovery and restoration projects.

An additional $ 18 million will be used to protect endangered marine life and eradicate invasive species such as turtle eggs with wild cats and foxes and pigs along the coast of Cape York digging islands. I will.

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Hawksbill turtle near Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, January 15, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Mark Kolbe / Getty Images)

Aside from its environmental impact, Australia’s marine economy supports 400,000 jobs and is projected to contribute A $ 100 billion (US $ 778.5 million) annually to the country’s economy.

“Our ocean is part of the lifeline of our economy, and this investment plays an important role that our ocean can play in our efforts to reduce those jobs and emissions. I will secure it, “Morison said.

The investment follows the recently announced $ 540 million for carbon capture and hydrogen technology as part of Morrison’s government’s plan to achieve net zero through technological development rather than heavy taxation.

“The key to meeting our climate change ambitions is the commercialization of low-emission technologies,” Morrison said. “We are not going to reach our climate change goals by punishing taxes. I am not going to tax our industry on Earth.”

The announcement of the Blue Carbon Project took place the day after the Leaders Climate Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, and Morrison outlined Australia’s progress towards achieving its emission reduction targets.

“Our emissions have fallen by 19 percent since 2005,” Morrison said. “Many countries that promised last night can’t talk about their performance and can’t talk about what they’ve met. [their own targets].. “