Confronting Climate Change

Taking the ocean into account is critical for successfully addressing climate change, and addressing climate change is critical for the future of the ocean.

Ocean Conservancy at COP27

In November, countries around the globe came together at the 27th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to negotiate a collective path forward towards solutions to the climate crisis facing the planet. Representatives from civil society, non-governmental organizations and the private sector gathered alongside governmental representatives to influence decisions and advance contributions toward the goals of the Paris Agreement of 2015. Read more about advancing ocean climate action at COP27 on our blog. 

Ocean-Climate Solutions
© Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy attended COP27 to elevate ocean-climate mitigation and adaptation solutions, advance the outcomes of the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue report and advocate the ocean’s vital importance for livelihoods and biodiversity and as a fundamental component of the climate system. Read more about ocean-based climate solutions here.


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© Ocean Conservancy
Climate & Plastics

Plastics produce massive and growing amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and keep us dependent on fossil fuels. The 11 million metric tons of plastics entering the ocean each year reduce the resilience of coastal communities already at disproportionate risk from climate change. Plastic pollution is a multifaceted threat to our climate, ocean and coastal communities that we must stop at the source. Read more.

Green Shipping Corridors at COP27

Last year at COP26, UNFCCC Parties made two notable commitments to green shipping corridors and shipping decarbonization: The Clydebank Declaration and the Zero by 2050 Declaration. We need to see continued progress on the establishment of green shipping corridors and sector-wide decarbonization if we want to achieve a 1.5C future. Read more.
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Green Shipping Corridors: A Pathway to Zero-Emission Shipping

The shipping industry is a significant and rising source of global greenhouse gas emissions, generating more than a gigatonne of CO2 equivalent emissions each year. The Global Maritime Forum (GMF) and other experts argue that if zero-emission fuels can make up 5% of the global shipping fuel mix by 2030, the goals of the Paris Agreement will be in reach. Green shipping corridors are a decarbonization and environmental protection strategy that can enable the testing and uptake of zero-emission lifecycle fuels and technologies with the ambition to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain. Read more.


Find recordings of some of the events our experts participated in here:

Harnessing Finance for Addressing Climate-Ocean Change

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
Despite the IPCC’s dire warnings, the impacts of ongoing ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation are often under-recognized by policymakers and misunderstood or excluded from mainstream climate mitigation, financing or adaptation priorities. Learn about innovative and interdisciplinary projects that will help us leverage finance for more holistic climate-ocean adaptation. Watch here.

Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition by Ending Plastic Pollution: Capitalizing on Climate Commitments, Community Action and a Strong Global Plastics Agreement

Hosted by Ocean Conservancy and featuring Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director, Climate and Plastics Initiative
This event will feature the perspectives of national and subnational governments and community leaders on how efforts to end plastic pollution, from source to sea, can be harnessed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prevent fossil fuel lock-in and build climate resilience for coastal communities and marine ecosystems. Watch here. 

Innovations at the Ocean-Climate Nexus to Accelerate Decarbonization, Address Climate Change and Improve the Blue Economy

Featuring Anna-Marie Laura, Director, Climate Policy
This will be a discussion of policy innovations and lessons in sustainable aquaculture and seafood as a decarbonization pathway, ocean-based renewable energy, shipping & reducing plastic production and usage and research for blue carbon & marine-based carbon sequestration. Watch now.

Incorporating All Knowledges: How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Preserve Ocean Resources in a Changing Climate

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This event will highlight the importance of meaningfully incorporating Indigenous knowledge (IK) into climate change research, management and governance of ocean resources. Speakers will discuss topics including how successful the IPCC has been at incorporating IK in previous and current reports, challenges and how they can be overcome in future Assessment Reports and future pathways forward to meaningfully incorporating IK into Assessment Reports. Watch now.

Healthy Planet Healthy People: What Does Adaptation Mean for Ecosystems and Why Does it Matter to People?

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This session aims to present main findings of the latest IPCC report on adaptation options for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem-based adaptation for people. Watch now.

Community Risk is Climate Risk: Aligning Finance and Policy to Empower Communities in the Clean Energy Transition

Hosted by Ocean Conservancy and featuring Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director, Climate and Plastics Initiative
This event will highlight original case study research on the community risks of fossil fuel and plastics projects and the financial costs faced by companies that disregarded them. It will feature perspectives from policymakers, civil society leaders and investors on strategies to internalize community risks. Watch now.

Panel on Ocean Microplastic Pollution: Links to Climate, Ecological Impacts, and Human Health Risks

Featuring Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director, Climate and Plastics Initiative
Like CO2 emissions, the flow of plastic waste to the environment, especially the ocean, is an adverse side-effect of economic activity. Unlike CO2, the social cost of plastic pollution is not well understood and effective management requires a better understanding of risks. This panel will focus on the current state of knowledge about plastic in the ocean, potential links to climate and potential impacts on human and environmental health. Watch now.

Transforming Human Behavior to Enable Ocean-Focused Climate Action, Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Development

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This session will discuss how transitioning toward managing simultaneously for multiple ocean crises—climate impacts, biodiversity loss and unsustainable fisheries—while meeting the objectives of climate resilient development can contribute to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and a sustainable ocean. Watch now.

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) as an Ocean Climate Solution: Urgently Taking a Precautionary Approach

Hosted by Ocean Conservancy and featuring Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science and Anna-Marie Laura, Director, Climate Policy
The side event will consider the complexities of ocean CDR and explore actions to minimize negative impacts. It will feature perspectives from scientists, representatives from non-governmental organizations and technical experts who focus on ocean CDR planning and nature-based climate solutions. Watch now.

Ocean-Climate-Society: Challenges and Opportunities for Ocean Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance and UNFCCC

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This side event will showcase examples of ocean adaptation, including in Africa and Asia-Pacific, and of blue finance and the need for its further expansion, especially for the sustainable development of coastal ecosystems and communities in vulnerable coastal and island nations such as Africa. It will highlight action-driven global scientific collaboration and equitably with local communities in helping to understand and manage the challenges placed on the marine ecosystems and so improve sustainable development. The session will explore the summary of the mandated UN Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue for ocean integration into the UNFCCC processes. Watch now.

Ocean Climate Action Day

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This event will call for ambition, increased finance and to accelerate the implementation of ocean-based climate solutions to deliver a resilient, net-zero, equitable and nature-positive future. Watch now.

Working with Nature for People and the Planet: Nature-based Solutions in the IPCC 6th Assessment

Featuring Dr. Sarah Cooley, Director, Climate Science
This event will present the findings from the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and briefly discuss what nature-based solutions are and provide an overview of the evidence for nature-based solutions as both adaptation and mitigation strategies. It will also present some of the risks associated with poorly designed or poorly implemented nature-based solutions. Watch now.

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