Climate Change and the Ocean

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

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Blueprint for International Ocean-Climate Action Goals and Steps for Governments and Stakeholders

The ocean and climate are inextricably linked. The ocean plays a central role regulating the climate, including by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide. This imposes a heavy cost through effects such as deoxygenation and acidification, which are decimating ocean ecosystems and damaging local communities and economies. At the same time, the ocean is a source of climate mitigation and adaptation measures, from the restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems to the creation of well-designed and well-enforced marine protected areas.

Governments and stakeholders therefore should address the climate and ocean crises holistically. With a number of international climate and ocean summits on the horizon, this document presents a set of nearterm steps that governments and stakeholders could announce—as well as a set of medium-term and midcentury goals that they could adopt—to create a thriving climate and ocean.

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