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STATEMENT: COP26 Delivers for the Ocean Even as More is Needed to Keep Hope Alive for 1.5

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Glasgow, Scotland – The following statement was issued by Anna-Marie Laura, Ocean Conservancy’s Climate Policy Director, in reaction to the final decision from COP26: 

“With the mandate for an annual ocean climate dialogue included in the COP26 decision, a formal space finally exists to elevate ocean and climate impacts, solutions and science in the UNFCCC.  This is a major step forward for our ocean and the communities who rely on it, and we want to thank the many parties who championed this effort during COP26.

“Combined with the call to strengthen ocean-based action across UNFCCC bodies and work plans, the use of ocean climate solutions for mitigation and adaptation can be accelerated. Ocean Conservancy strongly believes that mitigation and adaptation solutions like responsible development of offshore renewable energy, protecting blue carbon, use of nature-based solutions for coastal resilience and the elimination of emissions from the shipping industry are critical contributors to the fight against climate change.

“Our global community can’t afford to ignore the impact climate change has on our ocean, coastal communities and island nations, and we need to bring ocean solutions to bear in addressing the challenges they face.

“The most important thing we can do for the ocean is to curb greenhouse gas emissions and keep the planet on a path to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. As the thousands who marched and rallied in Glasgow and around the world reminded us, this did not happen at COP26. It is imperative that governments rise to the new deadline created in the final decision to update their 2030 emission reduction targets by the end of 2022 and be on track to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement by COP27 in Egypt. The decade to make a difference is well underway, and we do not have the luxury of time.

“COP26 also made clear that the previous commitments of high income nations to mobilize financing and a path to adequately address the needs of low-income nations and communities who are already experiencing the brunt of climate impacts have not been met. COP26 made welcome progress on ocean climate action, however, much work remains to achieve fair, equitable, and inclusive climate action and climate justice.”

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Anna-Marie Laura is available for interviews upon request

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

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