Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Maritime Affairs


Maritime Law & Policy


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Bellefountaine, Neil


This dissertation discusses ocean acidification as an emerging priority in international climate protection processes within the UNFCCC and the IMO. It provides discussion in an area where there is currently a gap between ocean acidification science and corresponding action in law and policy processes. It builds the case for substantial, immediate action on CO2 within the context of negotiations at UNFCCC for the post-Kyoto climate regime. This dissertation contains an examination of the available science publications on ocean acidification and submissions made by leading ocean acidification experts at COP-15; references to “ocean acidification” in the IMO MEPC meeting protocols and UNFCCC documents and draft negotiation texts. It establishes the UNFCCC’s obligation to address ocean acidification. Furthermore, political declarations made by recent science-policy forums and symposiums are assessed for their standing as an important part of the emerging global oceans agenda. Finally, a key recommendation is offered that marine climate change experts must be involved in the development of national and international emissions targets and strategies, on all levels and stages in the UNFCCC process. Further recommendations are offered to policy advisors, climate change negotiators and decision-makers on ocean acidification in the UNFCCC process, IMO and policy-relevant science