Australian Government announces $100m towards blue carbon ecosystems
Recent Commonwealth announcements highlight the increasingly important role tidal wetlands play in sequestering carbon. Called ‘blue carbon’, extensive research has indicated that when restored, these environments store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests and are one of the most efficient locations for sequestering atmospheric carbon. Indeed, while coastal habitats account for only 2% of the total ocean area, they account for approximately 50% of the stored carbon.
Thankfully, due to our geography, world-leading research, and historical practices, Australia has the potential to become a world leader in implementing blue carbon solutions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent announcement of a $100M investment package in blue carbon ecosystems will help reduce atmospheric carbon and create habitat for our estuarine and oceanic environments. This announcement is also supported by the development of a Blue Carbon Methodology Determination by the Clean Energy Regulator, which will guide the development of a method to officially account for blue carbon.
Associate Professor Will Glamore, a world renowned expert in tidal wetland restoration methods from the UNSW Global Water Institute, is working with the Clean Energy Regulator to develop on-ground methods.
A/Prof Glamore says, “Following decades of research, this is an exciting time for coastal wetland restoration and blue carbon. With support from all levels of government as well as industry, including initiatives such as Apple’s Restore Fund and Elon Musk’s Xprize, we are hoping that Australia will lead by example and implement large scale blue carbon projects.”
A/Prof Glamore’s EcoEng research group, part of the Water Research Laboratory within UNSW's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is Australia’s leading engineering group focused on tidal wetland restoration. Previous tidal wetland restoration research has been awarded the Engineering Australia’s Excellence Award, the National Trust of Australia’s Conservation Award and the Green Globe Award.
More information on blue carbon can be found on the IUCN website.