Blueing business as usual in the ocean: Blue economies, oil, and climate justice

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Oceans are increasingly looked toward for their contribution to addressing climate change. These so-called ocean-based climate “solutions” often fall under the umbrella of the “blue economy,” a term used to refer to new ways of organizing ocean economies to provide equitable economic and environmental benefits. Yet, thus far the literature exploring blue economies and blue economy governance has largely overlooked or downplayed its equity and justice roots and implications, including how blue economies are embedded in multiple scales of environmental injustices. This is particularly important when blue economies include offshore oil production. The purpose of this paper is to both emphasize the need and provide an approach to incorporate justice and equity—specifically climate justice—into blue economy planning and scholarship. We build on conceptualizations of blue economies as assemblages to draw attention to the global reach of climate impacts associated with oil that are often overlooked or ignored at sites of production and through regional governance. We argue that greenhouse gas emissions from the life cycle of oil should be included in policies and planning (including blue economy planning) at sites of production, but that this must also incorporate underlying power structures that lead to uneven impacts and climate injustice. We look at environmental assessments as a regional governance tool that could be used to shape opportunities and openings to organize blue economies differently. To illustrate these points, we look at how environmental assessments are playing (and could play) a role in enacting and shaping Newfoundland and Labrador's blue economy.




Fusco, L. M., Knott, C., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Singh, G. G., & Spalding, A. K. (2022). Blueing business as usual in the ocean: Blue economies, oil, and climate justice. Political Geography, 98.

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