WEF and Partners Launch Guide for Sustainable Ocean-based Carbon Markets

A global coalition of ocean leaders announced today at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference a first-of-a-kind framework to guide the development and purchasing of high-quality blue carbon projects and credits.

Blue carbon – or the carbon captured and sequestered by ocean ecosystems – is experiencing a particularly rapid increase in demand. The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance was developed to provide consistent and accepted standards for blue carbon projects and credits for credit purchasers, investors, suppliers, and project developers.

“We are defining a way forward that ensures inclusive participation and leadership of communities and other local groups, as well as equitable access to benefits and capacity building for all those who have a stake in these coastal ecosystems,” said Karen Demavivas, Lead, Ocean Action Agenda, at the World Economic Forum. “The guidance will act as a strong compass to help blue carbon stakeholders navigate this unique space and opt for blue carbon projects that offer a real and lasting positive impact.”

Nature-based carbon credits are proving to be an effective tool for incentivizing climate action, with the global voluntary carbon market estimated to grow to $50 billion by 2030. As organizations race to achieve their net-zero commitments, blue carbon stakeholders are advised to select quality blue carbon projects that prioritize sustainable and equitable outcomes for people, nature, and the climate.

“This framework is one contribution to the growing dialogue around high-quality blue carbon,” said Whitney Johnston, Director of Ocean Sustainability at Salesforce. “We hope these principles will serve as a foundation for actions that ensure equity, accountability, transparency, and sustainability in the blue carbon space.”

The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance was made possible through a collaborative effort between the World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action, Salesforce, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, and Meridian Institute. The principles were derived through a consultative process, consolidating existing knowledge and best practices to provide a shared vision for achieving high-quality blue carbon credits.