Understanding how people, companies and governments make decisions about the use of the ocean is the first step towards sustainability. To define the value that is given to the ocean and its resources, we must first ask ourselves what is most important to us is the economic benefit or if, on the other hand, we are more interested in conserving and protecting natural resources.
What is the blue economy?
The concept of the blue economy arises from the need to decouple socioeconomic development from the destruction and exploitation of the environment and its resources.
The European Commission defines it as “All economic activities related to the oceans, seas and coasts”.
Like the “green economy”, the blue economy model aims to improve human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and the scarcity of natural resources.
According to The Commonwealth of Nations, the blue economy is considered “an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean or blue resources.”
Simply put, the “blue economy” refers to the variety of economic uses of ocean and coastal resources such as energy, shipping, fishing, mining, and tourism. It also includes economic benefits that may not be traded such as carbon storage, coastal protection, cultural values, and biodiversity.
How can the blue economy contribute to the European Green Deal?
Through more sustainable models, the blue economy will use the resources of the oceans to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal of a more neutral and resilient European economy from a climate point of view.
The European Commission adds that the blue economy contributes with:
- A 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
- The decarbonization of maritime transport.
- Minimize the environmental impact of fishing on marine habitats.
- Make the sectors of the blue economy more circular.
- Expand renewable energy offshore.
- Contribute to the transition towards a sustainable and low-carbon food system.
On the other hand, the Commission and the European Investment Bank will continue to advocate for the principles of sustainable financing of the blue economy before private investors. As a result, tangible opportunities for new jobs and businesses will be created.
Beyond the market
The blue economy is not only limited to market opportunities, but also ensures the protection and development of the most intangible “blue” resources, such as: the resilience of the coasts to help vulnerable States to mitigate the effects of climate change.
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