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A Voice for our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy Experts to Attend COP28 to Advance Ocean-Based Climate Solutions

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates (November 29, 2023): From December 2 – 11, 2023, Ocean Conservancy will attend COP28 to push for the ocean’s incorporation into the Global Stocktake and to build on past successes with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Parties on advancing ocean-based climate solutions. Ocean Conservancy experts will host and participate in events throughout the duration of COP28 and will be available for interview upon request.

The upcoming Global Stocktake is expected to reveal existing climate commitments are not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The ocean, despite covering 70 percent of the globe, is a largely untapped source of climate solutions that could support significant emissions reductions to help address the emissions gap. Offshore wind alone has the potential to provide 18 times the globe’s electricity demand from a renewable source. Yet according to Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean-Based Climate Solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions, June 2023 Update, only 14 percent of coastal countries mention ocean renewable energy, such as offshore wind, in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

As a leader in promoting and driving forward ocean-based climate solutions, Ocean Conservancy will collaborate with the UNFCCC Parties, as well as through the Friends of the Ocean and Climate network as acting secretariat, to increase ocean-climate action and achieve better integration of ocean-based climate solutions into UNFCCC processes. Specifically, Ocean Conservancy will be working to advance the following outcomes at COP28:  

  • Include the Ocean in the Global Stocktake Decision: The ocean is largely absent from the Global Stocktake (GST), since none of the key messages emerging from the technical dialogues explicitly mentioned the ocean and coastal zones. Ocean Conservancy will work with Parties and non-Party Stakeholders towards a political outcome of the GST, with the newly released Integrating the Ocean: Options for CMA 5 Decision paper – that provides Parties with guidance 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.
  • Champion Responsible Clean Ocean Energy: The deployment of offshore renewable energy, specifically, offshore wind, is the greatest ocean-based climate mitigation solution and has the potential to reduce biodiversity loss and climate change. Ocean Conservancy, in its role as the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector Co-Lead for the UNFCCC’s Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action, Ocean and Coastal Zones, will champion the installation of at least 380 GW of offshore capacity while establishing targets and enabling measures for net-positive biodiversity outcomes, as well as advocate for mobilizing $10 billion in concessional finance for developing economies to reach that goal. 
  • Reduce Climate-causing Plastic: Plastics are made from oil and on a rapid growth trajectory, driving major greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel lock-in. This growth in production is also a major environmental justice problem for communities where plastic is made, and where it ends up, with growing evidence of significant and long term health consequences. Yet, plastic reduction is rarely identified as a strategy for emissions reduction in NDCs, and a significant number of NDCs include support for increased use of incineration or waste-to-energy technologies, which would significantly increase emissions. Ocean Conservancy will advocate for countries to include plastic reduction in their climate commitments to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. 
  • Strengthen Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue:  The Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue provides a space for Parties and non-Party stakeholders to improve understanding of ocean-climate solutions and challenges, share knowledge and experience, and identify synergies for these issues across international fora, with the aim of strengthening ocean-climate mitigation and adaptation actions globally. Ocean Conservancy will support efforts to disseminate the Dialogue’s findings and to present the summary report from the Dialogue at COP28 with the goal of strengthening the role of the Dialogue in driving the implementation of concrete ocean-based climate actions.
  • Include Green Shipping: The amount of greenhouse gasses the shipping industry emits is on par with a G7 country. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) revised its greenhouse gas strategy in the summer of 2023, however it lacked the necessary ambition to put the shipping industry on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The IMO operates outside of the UNFCCC, however, so Ocean Conservancy will work with countries to include shipping decarbonization in their NDCs as one avenue to make up the gap between the new revised greenhouse gas strategy and a 1.5C future.
Who:  Ocean Conservancy experts will be in attendance and available for interviews:
Kacky Andrews, Chief of Strategy
Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director, Climate and Plastics Initiative
Luis Estévez-Salmerón, Associate Director, International Government Relations
Shamini Selvaratnam, Associate Director, International Climate Policy
Whitney Berry, Senior Manager, Climate Policy
What:Ocean Conservancy will host and/or participate in events at COP28, including:

Driving Ocean Climate Action at COP28 
December 3, 2023 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Location: Ocean Pavilion, Blue Zone
Moderated by Kacky Andrews, Chief of Strategy
This Davos-style discussion, hosted by the Friends of the Ocean and Climate, will feature high-level representatives from countries speaking on the actions they are taking to integrate the ocean as part of the response to climate change. This will set the stage for negotiations at COP28 to advance the ocean-climate nexus in the UNFCCC and beyond.
Find more details here

Global Initiative for Nature, Grids and Renewables Launch
December 5, 2023 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Location: IUCN Pavilion, Blue Zone
Featuring Kacky Andrews, Chief Strategy Officer
Join the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the launch of GINGR: Global Initiative for Nature, Grids and Renewables. Ocean Conservancy will speak at the event.
Register to join. Drop-in attendees are welcome.

Global Offshore Wind Alliance Ministerial
From Targets to Turbines: Next Steps in Offshore Wind
December 5, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Global Renewables Hub, Pavilion MA15, Blue Zone
Featuring Kacky Andrews, Chief Strategy Officer
The Global Offshore Wind Alliance Energy Day Ministerial Event will delve into the market enablers that can leverage the existing successes within the offshore wind industry while addressing the current challenges. The event aims to foster a robust dialogue among the attendees, engaging in a high-level discussion on refining policy and regulatory frameworks, exploring innovative financing models, and unveiling a transformative initiative aimed at bridging the skills gap in the offshore wind sector.

Mobilizing Ocean-Based Climate Action: Charting a Way Forward
December 8, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Pavilion of Portugal, Blue Zone
Moderated by Whitney Berry, Senior Manager, Climate Policy 
Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and Oceano Azul Foundation, this event aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean in the global response to climate change. In the context of the first “Global Stocktake”, it will call for greater integration of ocean-based solutions in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). The event will support the mainstream of ocean-based climate action in COP 28 outcomes and final documents, building on the recommendations issued by the UNFCCC’s mandated Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue 2023.

Powering the Future: Accelerating Offshore Renewables to Advance Energy Transitions and Climate Resilience
December 8, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Location: Pavilion of Latin America and the Caribbean, Blue Zone
Featuring Shamini Selvaratnam, Associate Director, International Climate Policy
This side event, organized by CAF—Development Bank of Latin American and Caribbean and Ocean Conservancy, will bring together representatives from multilateral banks, governments, industry, and civil society to discuss the need for concessional finance mechanisms to promote offshore wind deployment to deliver on climate and conservation targets.
Find more details here

Taking Stock of Climate Action on Land Use & Ocean and Coastal Zones
Nature First: From Land to Ocean, Our Best Ally for Climate Action
December 9, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Al Hur, Blue Zone
Moderated by Shamini Selvaratnam, Associate Director, International Climate Policy 
Organized by Marrakech Partnership on Land Use and Ocean & Coastal Zones this event will showcase remarkable initiatives across land and ocean spearheaded by a multiplicity of non-state actors to reverse biodiversity decline by 2030, increase ecosystem and human resilience to climate change, and achieve a sustainable balance within planetary boundaries. 

Advancing Plastic Reduction as an Essential Tool to Achieving the Paris Agreement Goals
December 9, 2023 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Chile Pavilion, Blue Zone Featuring Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director, Climate and Plastics Initiative
Hosted by Chile and Ocean Conservancy, this event will convene high-level representatives from countries, private sector representatives and non-governmental organizations to share their actions to integrate actions to advance plastic reduction as a climate mitigation tool. 
Find more details here.

Mobilizing and Implementing Ocean-Based Climate Mitigation Solutions
December 10, 2023 from 4:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Hosted by the Friends of the Ocean and Climate and Ocean Conservancy
This UNFCCC Official Side Event, hosted by the Friends of Ocean and Climate group, will focus on mobilizing concrete ocean-based climate action and encouraging Parties to include and implement ocean-based climate solutions in their NDCs, NAPs and other national climate plans.
Find more details here.
When: 02 December – 11 December 2023

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