Building ecosystems as part of the climate crisis solution

The fact that the world is in a climate crisis is unquestionable and the offshore energy industry is working at full pace for a more sustainable environment. We are regularly introduced to many solutions and innovations which fail to take nature into account. That is not the case with DEME’s latest offering.

Courtesy of Navingo

At the Game Changers session at this year’s OEEC, Tomas Sterckx, DEME’s R&D project manager, introduced the visitors to the Coastbusters project which focuses on more ecologically sound solutions that incorporate nature-inspired designs into coastal protection systems.

According to Sterckx, we are in the danger zone and our biggest challenge is biodiversity, and creating biodiversity and restoring ecosystems is going to be an enormous part of the climate crisis solution. Erosion control, soil restoration, replanting, restoring the ecosystems are possible ways of reversing climate change.

“Some would say that’s very naively optimistic, okay, but ecosystems can be a part of the solution, depending on the scale of the problem we are facing,” Sterckx said. “We are in desperate need of solutions that are affordable, efficient, and sustainable and add to biodiversity in ecosystem services and help us to stay within the earth-critical boundaries.”

However, Sterckx points out that such projects are currently only a cost and not a business case, but claims that is something that the big shots at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference could and should decide on.

“Biodiversity is not valued, ecosystems are not valued, although they are extremely valuable, so I think in the future, and I hope that, in the climate summit in Scotland, they will take steps forward on that since there are to be found most business cases for ecosystems,” Sterckx concluded.

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