The lungs of our planet

Today is Oceans Day at the climate change negotiations conference, COP21, in Paris.

It’s really important not to forget how much we rely on the ocean.

It’s a major source of food, a massive oxygen producer, soaks up huge amounts of excess carbon and houses 80% of all life on earth. We’d be pretty stuck without it.

Climate change is causing unprecedented changes in the ocean, and we need to act now to prevent further damage.

This isn’t only damage done to the ocean itself, but also to the entire support system it gives us.

Climate change is making the ocean warmer, more acidic and it’s rising too. We don’t know how much longer the ocean will be able to provide for us if we keep pummelling it with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Marine Protected Areas can really help. They allow certain areas of the ocean to be under reduced pressure from human activities, like fishing, mining and dredging, and this means they are better able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

The last year has been great in terms of MPAs, with more than 2.5 million square kilometres designated. A positive step for sure.

Ideally we need to fully protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, that’s up from less than 1% right now.

Check out the infographics below from IUCN-WCPA all about how we can’t have a healthy climate without a healthy ocean. Join the conversation on Twitter with #OceanforClimate, #OceanCOP21 or #OceanOptimism.

lungs 1lungs 2

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