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What can corporations do to help save the ocean?

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We cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean, but the health of the ocean is now in a clearly observable decline. It is folly to imagine we can solve the global challenges posed by climate change by simply leaving the ocean alone. Of course, we need to allow ecosystems to recover and regenerate, but for reasons of food security and positive economic activity, we also need to give tangible support to more sustainable ocean business and production practices.

The ocean’s main industries contribute more than $1.9 trillion a year to the global economy. A new study by Duke University in the United States and the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, titled “The Ocean 100”, shows the 100 largest transnational corporations account for 60 percent of these revenues. This study suggests that by working closely together with these “keystone” businesses, we could set new standards for how we manage our one, shared ocean.

As a supporting member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, I agree. Our work has shown that targeted areas of ocean action could reduce the “emissions gap” (the difference between emissions expected if current trends and policies continue and emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase) by up to 21 percent on a 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway.

Thus, we need to urgently accelerate our efforts to ensure a transparent, science-based approach to solutions such as sustainable ocean-based food production, energy from offshore wind, decarbonisation of shipping, and the conservation and restoration of wetlands, mangroves and seagrass beds.

We know that largely........

© Al Jazeera

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