Whale-Safe Certification Program Aims to Quell Vessel Collisions and Deaths

Whale-Safe Certification Program Aims to Quell Vessel Collisions and Deaths

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer An Italian non-profit called the World Sustainability Organization (WSO) has introduced a new “Whale-Safe” certification program to certify freight and cruise ship companies that take steps to prevent whale collisions and deaths. Modeled off of “Dolphin-Safe” commercial labeling developed in the 1980s, the project is an expansion of WSO’s […]

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As Biden Suspends ANWR Leases, Advocates Push for Arctic Shipping Noise Restrictions

As Biden Suspends ANWR Leases, Advocates Push for Arctic Shipping Noise Restrictions

As the Biden administration moves to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling, advocates are also urging officials to tighten restrictions on Arctic shipping because the number of ships and distance traveled in the Arctic has grown dramatically. A new report by the Arctic Council found that underwater noise pollution from shipping in parts of the Arctic ocean doubled in just six years.

Why This Matters: The Arctic is warming at rates two to three times faster than the rest of the world, creating ripple effects like changing ocean temperatures, storm patterns, and increased coastal permafrost erosion.

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UN Report Says Countries Must Implement Ocean-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change

UN Report Says Countries Must Implement Ocean-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change

A new report released last week by the United Nations found that the countries of the world aren’t taking ocean health as seriously as they should in the fight against climate change. The oceans provide a key function in absorbing carbon and heat from the atmosphere. 

Why This Matters: The ocean has been a critical buffer against climate change, absorbing carbon and supporting ecosystems that prevent flooding, sustain communities, and more.

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Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Make Waves Ahead of Climate Summit

Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Make Waves Ahead of Climate Summit

On Tuesday, Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, participated in a virtual event to demonstrate the advantages of “blue” climate initiatives.  Leaders from around the globe attended the event — the UK’s Environment Minister, Chile’s Foreign Minister, and the Prime Minister of Fiji.  

Why this Matters:  Ocean-based climate strategies tend to take a back seat to emissions cuts in the transportation and fossil fuel sectors. 

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An Ocean Climate Action Plan For A New Blue Economy

An Ocean Climate Action Plan For A New Blue Economy

By David Helvarg and Jason Scorse As we enter another hurricane season in the midst of a global pandemic, there are growing calls to respond to the climate emergency at the scale we’ve responded to COVID-19. Yet many climate solutions being proposed fail to address the 71 percent of the planet that’s blue. In early […]

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Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

The Russian navy confirmed on Wednesday the discovery of new islands in their Arctic waters that have emerged as the glaciers around them melted.  And yesterday, a group of corporations led by Nike and the conservation group Ocean Conservancy announced the launch of the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge under which they agree not to intentionally ship goods through the Arctic shipping routes that are opening up as a result of the same melting.

Why This Matters:  This is why the Arctic Shipping Pledge could not come at a better time — when the pressure to increase shipping there, with associated ice risks and pollution, is increasing.  Adopting the “precautionary principle” with shipping in the Arctic is the best thing to do, and is consistent with an international agreement banning commercial fishing in the high Arctic that is already in place.

 

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