While Fresh Energy sticks to its core work of shaping and driving policies to support a transition to clean and efficient energy economy, it’s always refreshing to step back and look at the broader picture. Short of geo-engineering, it well understood that the climate solutions have two big portions: reducing our emissions, and managing land use to better sequester carbon from the atmosphere. What we sometimes forget is that sequestering carbon can happen on land and at sea, especially in coastal ecosystems.
For all the attention on managing land and forests to store carbon, maybe we are under-invested in understanding how ocean and coastal ecosystems can either help solve our climate problem, or if we mismanage them, how it can make our climate challenges worse.
According to this piece by Sydney Duckor, the granddaughter of Fresh Energy board chair Anita Duckor:
The Worldwide Watch Institute states that tidal salt marshes, mangroves, sea grass meadows, and kelp forests, “Compare favorably with and, in some respects, may exceed the potential of carbon sinks on land. If you look at the quality of carbon, compared to forests, you will find these habitats are 15 times more effective per unit area,” meaning that they have better potential to sequester more carbon within a smaller space. An additional study states that, “One hectare of healthy sea grass has the capacity to hold 15 times the carbon of one hectare of Amazonian rainforest.”
Great to learn something new and hats off to Sydney Duckor, an intern at Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, and a junior in high school in California.