Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Finds that U.S. and Indian Leaders Should Prioritize Coastal Ecosystems to Fight Climate Change
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Analysis Finds that U.S. and Indian Leaders Should Prioritize Coastal Ecosystems to Fight Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — As leaders from the United States’ and India’s civil society, academic, and business sectors convene today in Delhi to address challenges and opportunities that the two countries share in climate change and energy policy, the Center for American Progress released new analysis urging both nations to prioritize coastal ecosystems as a strategic asset in slowing global warming and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Both the United States and India are losing coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows at unsustainable rates, which impairs the health of coast and ocean environments, accelerates global warming, and endangers coastal communities. CAP’s column highlights how coastal ecosystems help protect against storm and flood damage, as well as capture and sequester carbon dioxide more effectively than any other ecosystem on the planet.

The CAP analysis recommends that President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi build on their recent agreement to collaborate on climate change and exert high-level leadership to arrest the loss of coastal ecosystems in both India and the United States. The two governments should devise ambitious goals to improve and maintain this natural infrastructure and actively engage in international efforts to link coastal ecosystem protection with greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The analysis also recommends that agency counterparts from each government work together to fill key research and engineering gaps in coastal ecosystem restoration.

“In addition to sustaining our commercial fisheries and filtering out pollution, coastal ecosystems are a crucial asset in our fight against climate change and its worst impacts,” said Shiva Polefka, Policy Analyst for CAP’s Ocean Policy program and the author of the column. “By prioritizing protection and restoration of this natural infrastructure in their collaborative efforts on climate change, the United States and India can make significant progress both in improving ocean health and in preserving global climate stability.”

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or