India is saving over 24 bn USD in ‘blue wealth’, thanks to the coastal ecosystems of Australia, Indonesia and the US.
A new study by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity has calculated a “comprehensive, global and spatially explicit economic assessment of carbon sequestration and storage in three coastal ecosystem types at the global and national levels.”
The study, published in Nature magazine, proposes a new approach based on the country-specific social cost of carbon that allows us to calculate each country’s contribution to and redistribute global blue carbon wealth.
According to the study, Carbon sequestration and storage in mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows is an essential coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystem service for climate change mitigation.
“Globally, coastal ecosystems contribute a mean ± s.e.m. of US$190.67 ± 30 bn annually to blue carbon wealth. The three countries generating the largest positive net blue wealth contribution for other countries are Australia, Indonesia and Cuba, with Australia alone generating a positive net benefit of US$22.8 ± 3.8 bn annually for the rest of the world through coastal ecosystem carbon sequestration and storage in its territory,” write the authors of the study.
India is one of the largest carbon emitters in the world. According to a 2018 study, climate change is costing India over 210 billion USD annually. However, the coastal ecosystem of Australia, the US and Indonesia is saving India over 24 bn USD or more than 10 per cent of the earlier calculated cost of climate change.
The researchers have concluded that global blue carbon wealth generated by carbon sequestration in coastal blue carbon ecosystems (BCEs) amounts to US$190.7±29.5bn per year.
According to the study, Australia, the United States and Indonesia are the three countries with the largest annual carbon sequestration potentials aggregated over all three BCE types.
Among countries that host any BCEs, the smallest absolute annual carbon sequestration potentials exist in Mauritania, Bulgaria, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.