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Regulation of Marine Geoengineering under the London Protocol: Where we have got to and where might we be going Chris Vivian Centre for Environment, Fisheries.

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Presentation on theme: "Regulation of Marine Geoengineering under the London Protocol: Where we have got to and where might we be going Chris Vivian Centre for Environment, Fisheries."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regulation of Marine Geoengineering under the London Protocol: Where we have got to and where might we be going Chris Vivian Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0HT, UK

2 London Convention 1972 and London Protocol 1996 The London Convention 1972 is the original instrument and the London Protocol 1996 updated the Convention will eventually replace it. It came into force in March The London Convention and the London Protocol are global conventions and primarily deal with dumping. However: London Protocol Article 2 – “Contracting Parties shall individually and collectively protect and preserve the marine environment from all sources of pollution and take effective measures, according to their scientific, technical and economic capabilities, to prevent, reduce and where practicable eliminate pollution caused by dumping or incineration at sea of wastes or other matter. Where appropriate, they shall harmonize their policies in this regard.”

3 London Protocol Article 4.1: “Contracting parties shall prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter with the exception of those listed in Annex 1.” Exclusion from the definition of dumping - Article : “Placement of matter for a purpose other than the mere disposal thereof, provided that such placement is not contrary to the aims of this Protocol.” Note that UNCLOS provides the overall legal framework for protecting the global marine environment and the LC/LP work within this framework.

4 How Did the LC/LP Get Involved 1.In early 2007, Planktos Corporation announced that it was planning to carry out iron fertilisation experiments in June 2007 offshore from the Galapagos Islands 2.The Scientific Groups meeting agreed a ‘Statement of Concern’ that was later endorsed by the Governing Bodies. 3.LC/LP Governing Bodies Meeting Oct 2007 agreed:  that the scope of the LC/LP included ocean fertilization  that the LC/LP were competent to address this issue due to their general objectives (LP Article 2)  that they would further study the issue from scientific and legal perspectives with a view to its regulation  Agreed a statement urging “…States to use the utmost caution when considering proposals for large-scale ocean fertilization operations…”

5 Subsequent Key LC/LP Activities November 2008 – Adopted non-binding resolution on the regulation of ocean fertilisation and agreed to further consider a potential legally binding resolution or an amendment to the LP. October 2010 – Adoption of Ocean Fertilization Assessment Framework (OFAF) for assessing field research experiments October 2011 – Group of like-minded countries agreed to work together informally to prepare proposals for the London Protocol to regulate ocean fertilization and provide a flexible mechanism to regulate other types of marine geoengineering October 2012 – Discussed draft amendment proposal for LP April 2013 – Formal LP amendment proposal submitted October 2013 –LP amendment adopted

6 LP Amendment October 2013  Article 1 - Adding a definition of ‘marine geoengineering’.  New Article 6 bis – Requiring that Contracting Parties:  not allow the placement of matter into the sea for marine geo- engineering activities listed in annex 4, unless the listing provides that the activity or the sub-category of an activity may be authorized under a permit, and  that they adopt administrative or legislative measures to ensure that the issuance of permits and permit conditions comply with provisions of annex 5 and takes into account any specific assessment framework developed for an activity  New Annex 4 – Listing just legitimate scientific research on ocean fertilization currently  New Annex 5 – An ‘Assessment framework for matter that may be considered for placement under Annex 4’

7 LP Amendment– Article 1 Article 1 - Adding a definition of marine geoengineering as 5 bis: "Marine geoengineering" means a deliberate intervention in the marine environment to manipulate natural processes, including to counteract anthropogenic climate change and/or its impacts, and that has the potential to result in deleterious effects, especially where those effects may be widespread, long lasting or severe."

8 LP Amendment Follow-on Activities Currently Intersessional Correspondence Groups working on: The arrangements to establish an independent international advisory group of experts on marine geoengineering An informal procedure for considering the inclusion of potential marine geoengineering activities in LP Annex 4

9 Marine Geo-Engineering – Types* 1.Ocean fertilisation to increase carbon flux to the deep-sea through stimulating additional production by:  Adding iron, nitrogen or phosphorus  Raising nutrient-rich deep-waters to the surface 2.Depositing organic material on the deep seabed e.g. crop wastes 3.Depositing CO2 into mid/deep ocean waters or deep sediments 4.Enhancing the alkalinity of the ocean and thus uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere e.g. adding calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide directly 5.Increase downwelling of carbon through increasing volumes or carbon concentrations 6.Increasing ocean albedo (reflectivity) of the water surface * See Brief-Summary-Marine-Geoeng-Techs.pdfhttp://www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/ Brief-Summary-Marine-Geoeng-Techs.pdf

10 Marine Geo-Engineering – Types* 1.Ocean fertilisation to increase carbon flux to the deep-sea through stimulating additional production by:  Adding iron, nitrogen or phosphorus  Raising nutrient-rich deep-waters to the surface 2.Depositing organic material on the deep seabed e.g. crop wastes 3.Depositing CO2 into mid/deep ocean waters or deep sediments 4.Enhancing the alkalinity of the ocean and thus uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere e.g. adding calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide directly 5.Increase downwelling of carbon through increasing volumes or carbon concentrations 6.Increasing ocean albedo (reflectivity) of the water surface * See Brief-Summary-Marine-Geoeng-Techs.pdfhttp://www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/ Brief-Summary-Marine-Geoeng-Techs.pdf

11 Future Regulation of Marine Geo-engineering 1.Very unlikely that a global instrument would have the marine environmental expertise to regulate marine geoengineering 2.So sensible for the LP, to regulate such activities under the overall jurisdiction of a global instrument i.e. a partnership, to ensure:  Only acceptable and effective marine geoengineering techniques for counteracting climate change are permitted.  Appropriate verification of sequestered carbon is carried out to equivalent standards across different geoengineering techniques. 3.Given its expertise and remit, the LP can govern marine geoengineering research itself with guidance from a global instrument to ensure that the research produces the information needed to assess techniques’ efficacy, acceptability and verifiability for climate mitigation purposes.

12 Thank you!


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