Our Ambition is for the UK to be Net Zero by 2030
What is the cause?
The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas has released large volumes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, intensifying the greenhouse gas effect and causing the earth’s average temperature to increase. Whilst the destruction of vital carbon sinks such as rainforests and kelp forests has decreased the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere and also released carbon stores.
Human-induced climate change is caused by an exacerbation of the greenhouse gas effect, where increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations trap the heat from the sun and cause a rise in the global temperature.
CO2 levels have risen dramatically since the industrial revolution and are 50% higher than pre-industrial levels due to the burning of fossil fuelsi. Carbon emissions are driven by different sectors across the world and different countries, individuals and organisations have varying carbon footprints. For example, developed and rapidly developing countries have the highest carbon footprint and small-island nations have the lowest. However, it will be developing countries feeling the effects of climate change the most as they are less likely to be able to adapt.
Carbon sinks such as kelp forests and rainforests forests play a key role in the regulation of CO2 levels through photosynthesis where they have trapped carbon for millions of years. The removal of these habitats due to intensive agriculture, overfishing and dredging has meant less CO2 is being absorbed from the atmosphere. It has also meant carbon stores have been released.
What needs to change?
To reverse the ocean climate crisis, we need urgent and drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as well as the rapid embracing of nature-based solutions to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Our ambition is for the UK to be net zero carbon by 2030. We are calling for:
1. Legislation and government policy that achieves net zero by 2030
- We need ambitious targets to reach net zero carbon by 2030. With the primary focus on reducing carbon emissions in the first place, rather than relying on carbon offsetting.
- We want the UKs Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)to include ambitious commitments for the restoration of the marine environment and the extension of highly protected status to all of the UKs MPAs by 2030.
- We need to address the climate crisis with the same urgency governments and business responded to the Covid-19 crisis. The climate crisis threatens humanity at a far greater level and business and government action must reflect this.
- We need to see efforts to tackle climate change at the centre of decision making across every government department.
2. Ocean rewilding to remove carbon from the atmosphere
- We need to recognise the intrinsic link between the ecological and climate crisis and invest in ocean rewilding to allow natural ecosystems to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to achieve negative carbon emissions.
3. A blue circular economy which actively regenerates the ocean
- We need economic stimulus packages that support sustainable industries with a focus on investing in renewable energies and projects which store blue carbon
- We need a just transition the supports those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
- We need to prevent bail-outs that maintain and perpetuate polluting industries.
What is SAS doing?
Together with our network of ocean activists, we must ensure the voice of the ocean is heard within the climate crisis. We will raise awareness of the effect climate change is having on the ocean, and champion the oceans role as a key tool in tackling climate change.
Since 2006, we have been an active member of The Climate Coalition. Through The Climate Coalition, we have helped influence UK Government decisions in recent years such as the pledge to phase out coal power stations in 2015 and ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.
In 2021, we delivered 68,000 signatures to No.10 Downing Street demanding the government put the ocean at the centre of the climate crisis. We mobilised thousands of ocean activists at the G7 Paddle-Out Protest and for The Global Day Of Action at Cop26. We joined 100s of youth activists together for the Youth Ocean and Climate Summit & developed their ideas into a Manifesto that has been handed to key decision makers. The ocean’s voice is now being heard in the climate emergency – this is just the beginning!
#ShowTheLove For The Ocean
Surfers Against Sewage is joining the #ShowTheLove campaign to make sure the ocean is front and centre of the climate action – and that’s where you come in. We want to mobilise as many people as possible to show their love for the ocean and join the biggest climate conversation in the UK. Here’s how you can #ShowTheLove this month:
🔹 Get crafty – create, display and share a blue heart on your social media (tip: plastic pollution you’ve collected could make something nice..) – don’t forget to #ShowTheLove and tag @surfersagainstsewage. Check out this creation from last year.
🔹 Share your ocean love story – Help us flood social media with stories of love for the ocean! We want to see videos or photos that show why you love and want to protect the ocean. Send your content before 14th February via email to [email protected] or tag us on Valentine’s day via Instagram & Twitter .
🔹 Heart shaped paddle out – What represents the love for the ocean more than creating a heart in it?! Here at SAS HQ we are going to get in the water and create a heart shaped paddle out – why not try it with your community?
Find out more information in our Show The Love Action Pack.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of you marched, paddled and raised your voice to demand ocean and climate action. We delivered 70,000 supporter signatures direct to Number 10 Downing Street, and worked with young people from across the country to create an in-depth Ocean and Climate Manifesto, which we will be discussing with politicians later this year.
Despite the incredible impact and momentum, sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up in the disheartening news that can surround the ocean and climate crisis. It is so important, to take a step back and remind ourselves, and others, what it is we are fighting to protect and why it is so important. That’s why this February, we want to #ShowTheLove for the ocean.
Show The Love is an annual campaign run by The Climate Coalition, of which Surfers Against Sewage is a member. The campaign aims to join communities, organisations and businesses together to show decision makers that we want to see real and rapid action to tackle the ocean and climate emergency – for the love of our blue planet.
The ocean plays a fundamental role in mitigating human-induced climate change, whilst also bearing the brunt of its impact. However, as carbon emissions and atmospheric temperature continue to rise, the ocean has almost reached capacity. The impacts of warming waters, increased ocean acidity and sea level rise already reach from deep ocean ecosystems to coastal communities and will only intensify unless we act now. The inextricable link between the ocean and climate highlights that the voice of the ocean must be heard, if we are to tackle this environmental emergency.
We need to collectively show those in power that it’s time to listen and time to act. By taking part in Show the Love, you will be adding your voice to the conversation on the climate crisis in a positive and hopeful way.
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For the love of waves, oceans and beaches.
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View From The Greenroom
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