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«Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Working Paper NI WP 14-01 February 2014 Working toward a More Valuable Ocean: Concepts and ...»

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Given these comments, I argue that even more important than describing in various ways what is being destroyed, we need to question the false arguments that environmental policies jeopardize competitiveness, innovation, and employment. Theory and empirical findings rather say the opposite.

So what is the recipe for sustainable governance then? Firstly, we all need to place marine issues higher on the agenda. Secondly, we should emphasise traditional environmental principles. Besides precautionary legislation, the polluter pays principle implies phasing out harmful environmental subsidies, which counteract all other efforts. If the money goes in the wrong direction, so does development. Instead, environmental investments in blue and green capital are needed. Furthermore, pricing can be done with or without a detailed cost-benefit analysis at hand. Taxes on greenhouse gas emissions have been shown to be very beneficial for preventing further ocean acidification. Similar price signals are needed for nutrients and hazardous substances. Thirdly, participation is often crucial, both in policy development processes and in implementation, for instance in fisheries and coastal planning.

Public decisions, as such, should be made by those who are elected.

Underneath these measures, more systemic change seems needed—of institutions and values, for example. I am optimistically thinking that we can change even such root causes. I will tell you why.

As a kid, I saw the ocean as robust and enormous. When I grew up, I realized that was not true. Today we find hazardous substances and plastic debris, but smaller and smaller fish stocks, also in the deep sea. But today we also know that neither society is resilient. That makes us vulnerable, but it also enables change, and we have seen a lot of positive change around the Baltic Sea, including in North-East Estonia. This is far from enough, but more than enough to inspire enhanced ambitions.


To view videos of our authors presenting their remarks, visit http://openchannels.org/videos/economicsoceans-conference. To view remarks of a specific speaker, use the following links:

Kerri-Ann Jones • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81291872 Catarina Hedar (At minutes: 4:00-10:00) • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81281745 Pawan Patil • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81280655 Claes Berglund • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81509337 Tundi Agardy (At minutes 9:00-17:00) • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81281742 Mikael Karlsson • http://vimeo.com/channels/oceanecon/81281664 RADM Jonathon White •

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