Even though a broad attention has been offered to the power of the oceans as a climate heat regulator and CO2 long-term stocker through the mechanism of the carbon pump, it seems that focusing on helping the ocean to play its benefitial environmental role is not a priority for the international community, focused on containing the emissions of greenhouse effects more than strengthening the palliative effects of the ocean.
Indeed, the sea and ocean only stands in 14th position in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the 2030 agenda of the United Nations (adopted in September 2015, following the Agenda21 framework created by the Rio 1992 summit). The IASS-IDDRI-TMG policy brief report of 2017 (Achieving the sustainable goal for the ocean) insists on the necessity to “agree on concrete steps to develop coherent regional and international implementation frameworks for achieving oceans sustainability”, and propose 3 recommendations aiming at creating a registry of ocean commitments, establishing regional partnerships for sustainable oceans and preparing a global thematic review for the ocean. These 3 recommandation, although sensible, are a prerequisite for action, while the urgency of the situation would plead for immediate action.
Rather than focusing on frameworks and commitments with low effort on detailing implementation means, should the UN, EU and regional environmental agencies promote the incitation by the example ? Would it be more effective for environmental agencies to implement ambitious solutions with voluntary member States, and the private sector, that could demonstrate the economical interests and the efficiency of maintaining a sustainable ocean, before trying to engage in weak and slow diplomatic consensus building ?