The future of offshore Carbon as a marine common pool resource: towards a Governance framework

Smith, Jack Montgomery (2023) The future of offshore Carbon as a marine common pool resource: towards a Governance framework. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The threat represented by global climate change demands novel approaches to the management of the world’s carbon resources to assist in climate mitigation attempts, including natural systems of carbon sequestration and storage. Following advancements in coastal “Blue Carbon”, research suggests a similar approach could be extended to the carbon found in offshore sediments, referred to in this thesis as Offshore Carbon (OC). The thesis investigates if OC is a common pool resource and, if so, what is required to inform any future international governance framework(s) for this emerging resource. The research questions were investigated through semi-structured expert interviews, and an open-question survey informed by a purposely developed scenarios analysis. Following a thematic analysis of the findings, new insights were discovered on OC as an emerging, large-scale, common pool resource. The thesis makes three main contributions to the literature: 1) a conceptualisation of OC as a common-pool natural resource constitutive of three qualitatively different stages (OC-Origin, OC-Migration, and OC-Destination). The conceptual findings emphasise the need for more robust science to reduce the uncertainty around the anthropogenic effects on the OC system, alongside the need to further develop differing conceptions of OC’s value, including economic values; 2) key components to inform a potential governance framework, including the need to integrate OC governance with existing international marine institutions, the importance of including every vested stakeholder from the outset, and the need and challenges of innovative monitoring; and 3) Six Principles for Commons Governance (derived from fisheries governance and management), applicable in part to OC, and Four Scenarios for OC. These conclusions help to move forward work on a potential contribution to climate change mitigation, building a firm foundation on which future research can be built to develop an efficient and effective governance of OC as an emerging common pool resource.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2024 08:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 08:18


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