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China to pursue bigger ocean carbon sinks to help meet climate goals
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China to pursue bigger ocean carbon sinks to
help meet climate goals

 

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China will explore ways to increase its ocean "carbon sink" and enhance climate resilience in its marine
ecological system as part of its pledge to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2060, officials said.

 

A carbon sink is a natural or an artificial reservoir that can store carbon extracted from the atmosphere.
China, the world's top greenhouse gas emitter, aims to increase its forest sink by 6 billion cubic metres
above the 2005 level.

 

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But as China comes under growing land pressure and tries to maximise the available space for forest,
nature reserves as well as arable land, the country is looking to take advantage of its vast territorial
waters to boost its "blue sink" potential.

 

"Maintaining ocean blue sink and steadily improving ocean carbon sink capacity are important tasks
to facilitate our climate goals," said Zhang Zhifeng, vice director at the Department of Marine Ecology
and Environment, a unit of the environment ministry, during a press conference on Thursday (Aug 26).

 

Zhang said the ministry will urge local governments to accelerate marine ecological restoration,
carry out ocean carbon sink monitoring and evaluation and include climate resilience in China's
2021-2025 marine ecological environment protection plan, which is currently at the drafting stage.

 

China has been trying to improve its coastal water quality, especially near the Bohai Bay and Yangtze
River Delta, and is establishing ecological reserves to protect coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass
beds.

 

However, data from the environment ministry shows that 17 out of the 24 monitored marine ecological
systems were in a "sub-healthy" or "unhealthy" state in 2020, with the number of marine species below
the normal range.



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