Northern Ireland has committed to a legally binding target to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, outlined in the Climate Change Act (2022). The marine environment has a pivotal role to play in this transition, with its unique ability to sequester and store carbon as well as providing wider climate adaption services including biodiversity. The term ‘blue carbon’ is defined as marine and coastal carbon which can be managed to contribute to GHG mitigation. Blue carbon habitats in Northern Ireland include saltmarsh, seagrass and shellfish beds.
Northern Ireland Blue Carbon Action Plan
DAERA have commissioned the co-development of NI’s first Blue Carbon Action Plan. As part of this progress, NIMTF will ask for:
- A Blue Carbon inventory for Northern Ireland that is complete, with distribution, health, carbon cycles, sequestration rates and stores understood.
- Conservation and restoration of blue carbon habitats incorporated into the management of Northern Ireland’s seas, notably in the Marine Plan, MPA designations and management processes.
The Blue Carbon Action Plan is set to be released for public consultation in early 2023.