On April 28, 2023, François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, announced that the government of Canada is making a staggering $154 million investment for ocean carbon research at Dalhousie University.
The grant recipient is the research program called Transforming Climate Action, led by Dalhousie University and supported by its partnering institutions Université du Québec à Rimouski, Université Laval, and Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Surpassing the effect of rainforests, the global ocean is our planet’s biggest filter against carbon emissions, holding 90% of the Earth’s carbon and having absorbed 40% of fossil fuel emissions so far.
Still, the question of how long and to what extent the ocean can continue to protect us from the worst impacts of global warming remains unanswered.
The mission of the Transforming Climate Action project will be to provide research-based answers to these challenges and deliver new data that will raise awareness in society and influence future climate change policymaking.
The three main objectives of the project are: to reduce uncertainties about the ocean and its effect on climate change; to collaborate with different society representatives towards a safe and responsible progress of technologies with the aim of positioning Canada as the world leader in ocean-based CO2 removal science; and to implement a people-centric framework for these advancements.
The project will bring together more than 170 researchers from the participating universities, varying across multiple disciplines such as oceanography, atmospheric science, Indigenous scholarship and knowledge, engineering, data science, maritime law, immigration policy, and social justice.
Dr. Alice Aiken, vice president of research and innovation at Dalhousie University, commented on the project: “Transforming Climate Action will focus the world’s attention and energies on the primary importance of the ocean in determining climate policy, shifting the global discourse and positioning the partner institutions as leaders in evaluating and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”