Researchers have been trying to put a dollar value on blue carbon, which is the term for carbon captured by the world’s ocean and coastal ecosystems. Wilfried Rickels, an environmental economist, created a helpful construct to assist in this valuation; the social cost of carbon is the sum of all the costs and benefits that come from putting more carbon dioxide into the environment. Based on Rickel’s work, we now know that the biggest exporters of blue carbon wealth -- those who stored the most blue carbon relative to the cost of carbon in their country -- are Australia, Indonesia and Cuba. Rickels described the importance of his new measurement saying, “It allows you to compare a potential wealth loss or gain outside the economy to see if you really develop sustainably.”

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