Ocean Acidification: A Litmus Test for International Law

20 April 2009

Australia has one of the most significant stakes in addressing the problem of ocean acidification, according to Dr Tim Stephens

At a talk for the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University (ANU), Dr Tim Stephens argued that ocean acidification is a litmus test for International Law.

"The world's oceans are a major carbon sink, absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which dissolves forming carbonic acid that disrupts processes of calcification utilised by many marine organisms, most notably corals," he said

"Despite the seriousness of this problem it is poorly addressed by existing international regimes. Although falling within not only the climate change regime but also marine environmental protection regimes it is not clearly and effectively embraced by either.

"This is of particular concern for Australia which has one of the most significantstakes in addressing the problem of oceanacidification (as seen most obviously in the threat the process poses to the Great Barrier Reef)."

The lecture was broadcast on a-pac - Australia's Public Affairs Channel.

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Contact: Greg Sherington

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