Green Deal and a Blue Economy

Published: 18 May 2021

The term 'blue economy' is being used more and more to describe a sustainable approach to using our seas and oceans.

Elements of that economy also reduce pressure on the hinterland, and absorb or counteract the impact of climate change. For example by capturing greenhouse gases. The blue economy also represents a global value with turnover of more than a billion euros.

Across the planet, the blue economy can only grow and it will double by 2030. The European Commission also sees the opportunities afforded by the blue economy and it aims to invest in its development. Sound criteria and indicators will therefore be needed.

Deltares and Ecorys have drawn up a framework for the EC with criteria and indicators for relevant sectors. At present, there is still no framework for safeguarding investment in the blue economy.

Existing sustainability frameworks have now been assessed

Thirty sustainability frameworks that are already in place for the marine (blue) sectors have been assessed by experts in terms of their relevance for the blue economy. That analysis ultimately yielded 500 indicators. A preliminary set was selected from these indicators for use in the principal marine sectors covered by the blue economy. Examples are fishing, farms, tourism, energy, ports and coastal protection.

Partly as a result of this successful European project, Deltares has enhanced its own expertise in terms of working with others to achieve sustainable growth in the blue economy. An important step that also will also help countries worldwide, such as Mozambique and the Seychelles.