By Rebecca Theodore
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 06 2017 – The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG) is igniting hope to humanity in its call for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. Renewable energy production, ecotourism, and blue shipping, are the way of the future. Yet, ocean acidification advances, as increasingly, carbon dioxide emissions are dissolving into the ocean.
Likewise, the sands of time are cerulean into this steer of unchartered waters. A new era of energy generation reliant on power from the waves beams. Wave energy is coming of age. Oceans are critical for sustaining life, eliminating poverty, and promoting prosperity, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy.
And blue is the new green.
Goal 14 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goal and the importance of oceans governance is now a matter of global policy. United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark confirms, that oceans provide the basis for the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, including some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, and contribute an estimated $3 to $6 trillion per annum to the global economy
Moreover, research indicates that the GDP derived from the ocean amounts to $2.5 trillion, or five percent of the world’s total GDP.
Candidly, oceans and their resources have an enormous prospect to unlock growth, prosperity, and the sustenance of the implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, the burden on the ocean ecosystems through overfishing, pollution, and environmental and climate change are increasing. The resources of the oceans are rapidly eroding through over-exploitation, misuse, and climate change.
Thereby, the pervasive and complicated impacts of climate change and the acidification of ocean waters cannot be ignored.
Beyond any doubt, the ocean awakens the conscience of policy makers and civil society to articulate the significance of the ocean for sustainable development, and increase the rates of employment and good sanitation while decreasing poverty, famine, and pollution.
According to a Department of Energy report, the theoretical ocean wave energy resource potential in the U.S. is more than 50 percent of the annual domestic demand of the entire country.
More significantly, the World Energy Council estimates, that double current world electricity production could be produced from the oceans via wave power.
But thus far, the need to mobilize action and deliver concrete solutions through the United nations high level conference are open to many challenges.
It follows, that if the need for global and national economic and social well-being is to be realized through an ocean planetary goal, then, the pioneering Paris Climate Change Agreement that aims to diminish emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change must be respected. The United States Congress cannot continue to shift their ground on climate change agreements by slashing the budget and that of the Environmental Protection Agency to eradicate federal funding for scientific research on climate change. It is incomprehensive to sink to such a large level of convoluted hypocrisy in promoting fossil fuels, while in the same vein, speaking about the future of the oceans as a source of renewable energy.
For sure, international laws and regulations must be curbed against those federal agencies and corporations that are involved in the pollution of the ocean waters. All the same, burdens placed on the ocean must be overturned and attention must also be paid to the large-scale industrialization of the oceans. The objectives of the United Nations high level conference are highly capable of reversing the decline of the ocean for the sake of humanity, the planet and prosperity, but at the same time, there must be partnership across the pond.
Although the gratified leanings of President Trump’s executive order spools back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, the blue economy must now seek new modernisation methods that emphasizes job formation, and the progress of social capital. There must be a limitation on the emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the promotion of renewable energy.
The United Nation ocean conference hopes of sustainable future must now include a new and urgent narrative, that will provide the policymaker and the researcher a holistic picture of what the ocean stands for.
And for this a firm climate change policy is the only global public good through which the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 14 can be realized.
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