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A Voice for our Ocean

Ocean-Climate Action Playmaker Group Champions the Power of the Ocean, Expands at COP28

Friends of the Ocean and Climate announce addition of European Union and other countries to impactful network

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dubai, United Arab Emirates (December 9, 2023): Today, the Friends of the Ocean and Climate Group, a network of like-minded Parties working to integrate the ocean into United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes, and promote the inclusion of ocean-based climate solutions into countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), announced 5 countries, Ghana, Mexico, Palau, Panama, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union have joined the group.  The group has been effective in influencing UNFCCC discussions, championing the creation of the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, and supporting negotiations related to the inclusion of the ocean in the Global Stocktake.

“The ocean must be included in the COP28 Global Stocktake Decision, with the objective to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Ambitious action towards climate neutrality is decisive to preserve the ocean’s natural blue carbon function.  I am very pleased to announce that the EU is joining the Friends of the Ocean and Climate. The Friends of the Ocean and Climate are doing tremendous work to advance the ocean in international climate discussions. It is only together that we can save our ocean and our climate,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

“The ocean can provide a significant amount of the emissions reductions necessary to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach. Thanks to the Friends of the Ocean and Climate group, we are seeing important progress towards the inclusion of the ocean in UNFCCC processes, for example through the inclusion of the ocean in the Global Stocktake, which will help drive increased ambition for ocean-climate actions in national climate strategies. And second, with the increased influence that comes from the expansion of the Friends of the Ocean and Climate group, which champions the inclusion of ocean-climate solutions in national climate strategies, including NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs),” said Luis Estévez-Salmerón of Ocean Conservancy. Ocean Conservancy has supported the Friends of the Ocean and Climate Group as Acting Secretariat since 2019.

“We need to concretely define and agree on how ocean action can positively impact climate decisions. Continuing to speak only about how the ocean is part of climate solutions is not enough. The Friends of the Ocean and Climate provide a strong ocean stance at the climate negotiations, and have been essential for a greater inclusion of the ocean across the UNFCCC,” said José Soares dos Santos, Chairman of Oceano Azul Foundation.

“The impacts of climate change are threatening the very existence of Fiji and other Pacific Islanders. The path to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and preventing the worst consequences of climate change is clear but steep. We know the ocean is a source of climate solutions and we need ambitious action from all countries to deliver on our promise to protect the ocean and address the climate crisis. The inclusion of the ocean in the Global Stocktake is critical for informing the next round of nationally determined contributions, thereby enhancing ocean-climate ambition and keeping the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach,” said Peter Wise, Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister of Fiji.

At COP28, the Friends of the Ocean and Climate Parties and non-Party Stakeholders are working to ensure the inclusion of the ocean in the UNFCCC’s Global Stocktake, including by providing options for Integrating the Ocean: Options for CMA 5 Decision – to increase their ambition and strengthen their ocean and climate actions, especially in the context of their national strategies, including their NDCs and National Adaptation Plans.

As of Summer 2023, only 14 percent of coastal countries mention ocean renewable energy, such as offshore wind, in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) according to Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean-Based Climate Solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions, June 2023 Update. Yet, offshore wind alone has the potential to provide 18 times the globe’s electricity demand from a renewable source.

Media Contacts:

Roya Fox, Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy: [email protected]; +1 202.280.6285

Margarida Lucas dos Santos, Comms Manager Oceano Azul Foundation: [email protected]+351.914.162.349 or Manuel Louro, Communications Consultant, JLM&A: [email protected]


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, X (formerly Twitter) or Instagram.

About Oceano Azul Foundation
Oceano Azul Foundation was established in 2017, with the mission to restore and maintain the health and productivity of the ocean for the benefit of all life on the planet. Under the motto “From the ocean’s point of view”, the Foundation works around three concepts: blue generation, blue natural capital and blue network. Using a science-based approach, the model of change of Oceano Azul Foundation integrates these three concepts supporting projects on literacy, conservation, sustainable fisheries, campaigns, blue economy and capacity building, namely working with governments, foundations and civil society organizations, within the UN and the EU systems, to advance the international ocean agenda. For more information, follow us on Linkedin, Instagram or X.

Media Contact

Roya Fox

+1 202.280.6285



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