In policy preview, Democrats target oceans for climate action

PhysOrg

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled broad ocean-themed climate legislation, touting the world’s oceans as underappreciated tools to combat rising temperatures.

“Until today, ocean climate solutions have been mostly out of sight and out of mind in the U.S.,” said Jane Lubchenco, who led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the Obama administration.

Lubchenco, now a professor at Oregon State University, said oceans can help mitigate climate change by trapping greenhouse emissions in so-called blue carbon sources, such as mangroves, marshes and seagrasses. “The bill focuses on the suite of powerful tools that we need to accelerate mitigation and adaptation to climate change.”

The bill would ban oil and gas leasing throughout the Outer Continental Shelf, set a national goal of protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030, increase funding for NOAA to study offshore wind–energy development and establish a program at the agency on blue carbon ecosystems, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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