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Ocean-based climate action and human rights implications under the international climate change regime

Elisa Morgera, Mitchell Lennan, Kati Kulovesi, Giulia La Bianca, Holly J. Niner, Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb , Eugenia Recio Piva, Jeremy Hills, Mara Ntona, Alana Malinde SN Lancaster, Mia Strand, Bernadette Snow, Kira Erwin, Lynne Shannon, Sian Rees, Kieran Hyder, Georg Engelhard and Kerry Howell

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • human rights,
  • ocean-climate nexus,
  • coastal communities,
  • marine science,
  • advocacy
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This article focuses on the need for preventative and precautionary approaches to the interdependence of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Published on August 7 2023, this open access article draws on biodiversity and fisheries sciences to highlight the limited extent to which the international climate change regime addresses the ocean and diffuses negative impacts on the human rights of ocean-dependent communities. By reviewing the current body of knowledge on marine ecosystems and their benefits to human well-being and climate change, the article focuses on blue carbon as an emerging discourse. The authors argue that despite the wide scientific recognition of climate change-related shocks and risks for ocean health, ocean-based climate action is yet to be operationalised. As such, the article recommends a development of synergistic approaches to ocean and human rights-based climate action through a multi-scalar coalition that includes a variety of international treaties and UN bodies to restore and conserve the ocean’s contribution to climate regulation, planetary health and the well-being of humanity.

The article was published in the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law and should be cited as:

Morgera, E, Lennan, M, Kulovesi, K, La Bianca, G, Niner, HJ, Harrould-Kolieb, E, Piva, ER, Hills, J, Ntona, M, Lancaster, AMSN, Strand, M, Snow, B, Erwin, K, Shannon, L, Rees, S, Hyder, K, Engelhard, G, and Howell, K.Ocean-based Climate Action and Human Rights Implications under the International Climate Change Regime. International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. 2023; 38: 1-36. doi:10.1163/15718085-bja10142.