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Protecting Antarctic blue carbon: as marine ice retreats can the law fill the gap?


Gogarty, B and McGee, J and Barnes, DKA and Sands, CJ and Bax, N and Haward, M and Downey, R and Moreau, C and Moreno, B and Held, C and Paulsen, ML, Protecting Antarctic blue carbon: as marine ice retreats can the law fill the gap?, Climate Policy, 20, (2) pp. 149-162. ISSN 1752-7457 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/14693062.2019.1694482


As marine-ice around Antarctica retracts, a vast ‘blue carbon’ sink, in the form of living biomass, is emerging. Properly protected and promoted Antarctic blue carbon will form the world’s largest natural negative feedback on climate change. However, fulfilling this promise may be challenging, given the uniqueness of the region and the legal systems that govern it. In this interdisciplinary study, we explain: the global significance of Antarctic blue carbon to international carbon mitigation efforts; the urgent need for international legal protections for areas where it is emerging; and the hurdles that need to be overcome to realize those goals. In order to progress conservation efforts past political blockages we recommend the development of an inter-instrument governance framework that quantifies the sequestration value of Antarctic blue carbon for attribution to states’ climate mitigation commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic, blue carbon, Paris agreement, non market, climate change, carbon sinks, CCAMLR, ATS, Antarctic Treaty, UNFCCC, international law, international relations
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:International and comparative law
Research Field:International criminal law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International organisations
UTAS Author:Gogarty, B (Dr Brendan Gogarty)
UTAS Author:McGee, J (Associate Professor Jeffrey McGee)
UTAS Author:Bax, N (Ms Narissa Bax)
UTAS Author:Haward, M (Professor Marcus Haward)
ID Code:136065
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2019-11-28
Last Modified:2020-08-12

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