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A Voice for our Ocean

Ocean Breakthroughs Provide Five Pathways to Accelerate Ocean-Based Climate Action

Ocean Conservancy calls for $10 billion in international concessional financing for offshore wind development as ocean renewable energy sector lead.

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During the IUCN Leaders Forum and in the leadup to COP28, Ocean Conservancy united with ocean community partners in the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action launched the Ocean Breakthroughs with the support of the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions. The Ocean Breakthroughs are transformative pathways for five key ocean sectors that if invested in could deliver up to 35% greenhouse gas emissions reductions and contribute to a net-zero future by 2050. 

The Ocean Breakthroughs identify five turning points ocean sectors must reach by 2030 to achieve a healthy and productive ocean in 2050. The five sectors the Ocean Breakthroughs focus on are: marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food and coastal tourism. The global community must accelerate action and investments in each of these five sectors to harness the potential of the ocean as a source of solutions for the interlinked climate and biodiversity crises. 

The ocean is essential to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Global Biodiversity Framework. As the largest climate regulator and covering 71% of our planet’s surface, the ocean can’t be ignored or left out of commitments to address either crisis. The Ocean Breakthroughs provide science-based targets that will boost mitigation and adaptation efforts that will benefit both people and our ocean.  

Ocean Conservancy is the Marrakech Partnership’s sector lead for ocean renewable energy. The responsible development of ocean renewable energy will help countries reach the internationally agreed upon goal of limiting warming to 1.5C. Offshore wind alone can power the world many times over. The world needs to deploy 380 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 to be on track to reach our climate targets but currently only 64 GW of offshore wind energy are deployed and mostly in developed G20 countries.  

That’s why the ocean renewable energy Ocean Breakthrough calls for $10 billion in international concessional financing for offshore wind development. Concessional financing provides below-market-rate financing options, such as loans or grants, for developing nations to develop and deploy offshore wind energy technology.  

“In championing clean ocean energy, we not only target keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees to protect our oceans but also support the move away from fossil fuels to reach our climate goals. To achieve the energy transition we need to make the development of offshore wind accessible and affordable to everyone and not just developed countries. By advancing concessional financing options through the new Ocean Breakthrough, we hope to bring down the costs of clean energy and accelerate the responsible deployment of offshore wind in developing countries. This will create new sustainable industries and provide deep cuts to our global greenhouse gas emissions, making it a win-win for both the planet and the economy,” said Shamini Selvaratnam, Associate Director of International Climate Policy at Ocean Conservancy. 

The ocean renewable energy pathway along with the four others the Ocean Breakthroughs focus on provide roadmaps for how the global community can act on a systems scale. The Breakthroughs can inform the Global Stocktake as well as how countries can incorporate ocean-based climate solutions into the outcomes of COP28. Protecting our ocean and communities from the climate crisis is an all hands on deck moment and we need the ocean to be included in a whole-of-society approach.  

The organizations supporting the Ocean Breakthroughs in their respective fields are:  

  • Conservation International 
  • Cordio East Africa 
  • Global Ocean Trust 
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 
  • Ocean & Climate Platform 
  • Ocean Conservancy 
  • Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) 
  • Ørsted 
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) 
  • United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) 
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) 


Shamini Selvaratnam is available for interviews upon request. 

About Ocean Conservancy 

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.       

 About the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GC): 

The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action is the UNFCCC mechanism for non-state actors to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement by enabling collaboration between governments and cities, regions, civil society, businesses and investors to act on climate change. Under the leadership of the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions (HLC), the MP-GCA acts as a framework to raise ambition and help accelerate the pace and scale of climate action.  

“Ocean and coastal zones” is one of the priority themes of the MP-GCA, among seven others (Energy, Human settlements, Industry, Land Use, Ocean and Coastal Zones, Transport and Water). The MP-GCA Ocean & Coastal Zones brings together 120 organizations – including NGOs, business and industry, Indigenous populations, research and academic institutes, international organizations – to raise ambition and accelerate ocean-based climate solutions. 

Media Contact

Cody Sullivan




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