Deep CO2 Cuts May Be Last Hope for Acid Oceans

(Report from the World Oceans Conference in Indonesia)

gbr cap mushroom death4By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 15 (IPS) –

Ocean acidification offers the clearest evidence of dangers of climate change.

And yet the indisputable fact that burning fossil fuels is slowly turning the oceans into an acid bath has been largely ignored by industrialised countries and their climate treaty negotiators, concluded delegates from 76 countries at the World Oceans Conference in Manado, Indonesia.

Oceans and coastal areas must be on the agenda at the crucial climate talks in Copenhagen in December, they wrote in a declaration. “We must come to the rescue of the oceans,” declared Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the opening of high-level government talks on Thursday in the northern city of Manado.

It is fair to say most international climate negotiators aren’t aware of the impacts of climate change on the oceans, said Carl Gustaf Lundin, head of the IUCN’s Global Marine Programme.

“Very few people understand that carbon emissions are making the oceans acidic,” Lundin told IPS.

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