First-in-class carbon accountancy methodology for the preservation of the marine environment approved

EcoAct, an Eviden business, Digital Realty France, Schneider Electric France and the Calanques National Park have announced the establishment of the first carbon accounting methodology in Europe dedicated to the protection of seagrass beds, which play a major role in regulating the climate and preserving global biodiversity.

The “Prométhée-Med” research project has resulted in the first low-carbon labelling methodology dedicated to the protection of the marine environment, and its implementation should represent a potential reduction of 24,000 tCO2e/year on average. By ensuring a methodology is in place which aligns with best practice, the project can support climate action taking place at the rate required by the science.

This first-in-class methodology paves the way for the effective preservation of an important carbon stock and a key natural habitat of the Mediterranean – the Posidonia meadows – and has been approved by the Directorate General for Energy and Climate (DGEC) of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition in France.

The new methodology aligns with the crucial industry need to provide high-integrity carbon credits and establishes a pathway towards even higher ambition, such as that seen in the Core Carbon Principles launched by The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market last week. By ensuring rigorous standards, the necessary levels of investment can be met to fully realise the role of carbon markets in accelerating the net-zero transition and scaling solutions.

“This project is the concrete proof that public-private partnerships can leverage technical expertise, such as that carried out by EcoAct’s teams, and help advance the protection of marine biodiversity through innovative financing mechanisms, says Emilie Alberola, Director of EcoAct Southern Europe.

More broadly, the project will help to preserve the coastline, as seagrass beds help to slow down coastal erosion, and the marine environment where seagrass beds are a key habitat in the Mediterranean ecosystem.

“By hosting the “Prométhée-Med” project, born in Marseille from the intersection of the National Park’s preservation challenges and the private sector’s willingness to commit to the ecological transition, the Calanques National Park confirms its position as a territory turned towards innovation and the search for global solutions in favour of biodiversity preservation and the ecological transition. With the methodology now approved, the National Park is currently working, in conjunction with the territory’s local authorities, on a project to be submitted to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, which we hope will enable us to integrate the carbon market as a beneficiary. The aim is to mobilise funding to set up, manage and monitor the anchorage and light equipment zones defined as part of our overall anchorage organization plan, says Gaëlle Berthaud, Director of the Calanques National Park.

“As the world’s leading provider of colocation data centre solutions, with offices in Paris and Marseille, we are proud to have been at the forefront of this project alongside the Calanques National Park. “Prométhée-Med” is the first carbon accounting methodology in France and in Europe dedicated to the protection of seagrass beds. We are pleased to have contributed to the development of solutions for the protection of the environment in the region, says Fabrice Coquio, SVP Digital Realty, President of Digital Realty France.

“The project convinced us from the outset, as it’s fully aligned with Schneider Electric’s environmental agenda. When we carry out economic development projects, we accompany our customers in their decarbonisation and in the preservation of biodiversity. As a global player with a local focus, we are proud as a French company, to have supported this project, which started at the heart of the Calanques Park and combines the preservation of marine ecosystems with carbon sequestration. Our support should enable it to be extended to other regions“, says Hélène Macela-Gouin, VP Secure Power, Schneider Electric France.

In addition to the support of this group of environmental and digital players, the “Prométhée-Med” project has counted on the results of several institutions from the academic and scientific arena: the University of Corsica Pasquale Paoli, the GIS Posidonie – Corsica Centre and the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) – Aix-Marseille University.

I like this project because it combines the essential protection of Posidonia oceanica meadows, the ecosystem services they provide (including carbon sequestration) and complex (for me) but essential economic tools, says Charles-François Boudouresque, Professor Emeritus at the MIO.

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