Air-water CO2 fluxes were up-scaled to take into account the latitudinal and ecosystem diversity of the coastal ocean, based on an exhaustive literature survey. Marginal seas at high and temperate latitudes act as sinks of CO2 from the atmosphere, in contrast to subtropical and tropical marginal seas that act as sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. Overall, marginal seas act as a strong sink of CO2 of about −0.45 Pg C yr−1. This sink could be almost fully compensated by the emission of CO2 from the ensemble of near-shore coastal ecosystems of about 0.40 Pg C yr−1. Although this value is subject to large uncertainty, it stresses the importance of the diversity of ecosystems, in particular near-shore systems, when integrating CO2 fluxes at global scale in the coastal ocean.