July 19, 2008—Charlotte de Fontaubert, IUCN’s Senior Marine Advisor, participated in an Environmental Law Institute (ELI)-sponsored panel entitled “Ocean Energy: Tide, Current, and Wave Energy,” as part of the 2008 Ocean Seminar Series.
The panel discussed tide, current, and wave energy development in the U.S. and specifically considered the recent programmatic environmental impact statement for the new alternative energy program at Minerals Management Service. Dr. de Fontaubert presented some of the findings she and Mark Spalding, President of The Ocean Foundation, put forward in their article on conflict resolution for addressing climate change with ocean-altering projects (see link to PDF download). One of the main points of the paper is that while renewable energy projects are necessary to mitigate the impacts of climate change, one must also be aware of the impacts that these projects are likely to have on marine ecosystems. The authors then assess the costs and benefits of such projects and explore mechanisms that might be developed to address the inherent conflicts between some renewable energy projects and ocean conservation. The panel was moderated by Jim McElfish, Senior Attorney with ELI, and in addition to Dr. de Fontaubert, panelists included representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US Minerals Management Service, Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, and US Dept of Energy.
For more information on the 2008 Ocean Seminar Series, please visit http://www.eli.org/Seminars/ocean_series.cfm.