The dangers of blue carbon offsets: from hot air to hot water?
As the interest in using nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change grows, ‘blue carbon,’ which means carbon sequestered in coastal ecosystems, is also garnering attention. A number of countries have proposed including blue carbon in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and there is growing interest among some governments and fossil fuel companies in blue carbon as an offset mechanism. This briefing unpacks the key challenges and risks associated with the blue carbon concept by considering three key questions. What is the real potential of blue carbon as a mitigation measure? To what extent is carbon storage in coastal ecosystems threatened by current and future climate impacts? And is there a danger that focus on blue carbon could detract from reducing emissions from fossil fuel use?