Coastal blue carbon and Article 6: Implications and opportunities

Mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses – referred to as ‘coastal blue carbon ecosystems’ – provide both global and local ecosystem services and benefits, including for climate mitigation and adaptation. However, these ecosystems are under threat. The disappearance of blue carbon leads to significant volumes of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere. In this paper, we propose an overall phased cooperative approach for coastal blue carbon under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

This approach would establish incentives for countries to protect coastal ecosystems, while at the same time improving countries’ domestic capacities through data collection, enhanced transparency and more comprehensive accounting of blue carbon stocks and fluxes in these ecosystems. Importantly, the suggested phased approach would also contribute to gradually enhancing the coverage of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in blue carbon countries to include coastal carbon and help to progress to emission reduction or limitation targets.