Key voices get engaged in carbon debate

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on ocean acidification's effects on seafood supply. 

Clem Tillion doesn’t get very excited about global warming. Alaska’s former fisheries czar, who has worked on fisheries policy since before Alaska's statehood in 1958, views global warming as a human-amplified, natural process.

But Tillion is very concerned about ocean acidification, the oceans' changing chemistry due to absorption of industrial carbon dioxide emissions that threatens entire marine food webs. Tillion, a self-described free-market Republican, supports policies that favor home-grown, clean energy like geothermal energy in Alaska, and a curb on carbon dioxide emissions, but not through a carbon tax.

While the latest numbers indicate the world has not made much progress on cutting CO2 emissions driving ocean acidification and climate change, some are optimistic that a sea change on carbon is nonetheless underway.

Key voices — like Tillion’s — are increasingly engaged in the carbon debate, says Brad Warren, director of the productive oceans program at Seattle-based Sustainable Fisheries Partnership works not to lobby, but to inform seafood companies about ocean acidification and help them manage the business risk it presents to a sustainable seafood supply. He watches the policy landscape closely and is encouraged by a number of signs that it is ripe for meaningful reduction in global CO2 emissions.

“[Changing energy policy] is a long, hard process,” says Warren. “You’re talking about really transformative changes in the energy economy. The appetite for doing that work is developing in both major parties.”

Click here to view the rest of the feature on ocean acidification. Written by SeaFood Business Contributing Editor Lisa Duchene, the story appeared in the January issue of SeaFood Business magazine. 

Click here to view part one of the two-part series.

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