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Statement: New U.S. Climate Commitment Recognizes Ocean-Based Solutions

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Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Anna-Marie Laura, Director of Climate Policy at Ocean Conservancy, in reaction to the announcement of the new U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution as part of the Paris Agreement:

“President Biden is showing the type of U.S. climate leadership we’ve been waiting for and should expect. The goal of 50-52% emissions reductions over 2005 levels by 2030 and ultimately reaching net-zero by 2050 is the kind of ambition all countries committed to when they joined the Paris Agreement five years ago. Achieving these reductions will slow the speed of climate change and help limit the damage to our ocean and the people who rely on it. The U.S. commitment calls out the role of ocean-based climate solutions, like offshore renewable energy, decarbonizing the marine transportation sector and blue carbon, in achieving the targets. It is of course a first step, and we’re ready to continue working with the U.S. and other countries to turn commitments into action and ensure the opportunities the ocean provides play a significant role going forward—we can’t afford to leave any solutions on the table.

As we heard from President Biden’s Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry and other world leaders earlier this week during How Ocean-Based Solutions Contribute to Net Zero, we won’t solve the climate crisis without the ocean and we cannot ignore the ocean’s plight or that of climate vulnerable ocean nations.

We are optimistic that with leaders in U.S. Government, like Special Envoy Kerry, Dr. Lubchenco and Secretary of Energy Granholm, working with champions in countries like Chile, Costa Rica and Fiji, that the unique needs of frontline coastal communities and the powerful solutions the ocean has to offer will be recognized and accounted for.”

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Anna-Marie is available for interviews upon request.

Notes to Editors:

The U.S. NDC specifically mentions the following ocean-based solutions:

  • The U.S. is exploring decarbonization of international maritime sector at home and abroad through the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
    • Another item in the NDC that can directly contribute to achieving zero-carbon shipping is a commitment to scaling up new energy sources and carriers such as carbon-free hydrogen.
  • Recognizes the importance of natural climate solutions found in marine environment to climate ambition and resilience.
  • Recognizes the role of ocean-based climate solutions, including scaling-up offshore renewable energy and reducing emissions from shipping and ports, in increasing climate ambition and creating jobs.
  • The U.S. will support nature-based coastal resilience projects including pre-disaster planning as well as efforts to increase sequestration in waterways and oceans by pursuing “blue carbon.”

In an event earlier this week Special Envoy Kerry announced the U.S. commitment to work with countries in the IMO to adopt the goal of achieving zero emissions from international shipping by 2050 and to adopt ambitious measures that will place the entire sector on a pathway to achieve this goal.

Last month, President Biden released the American Jobs Plan which included both coastal restoration and resilience projects and zero-emission port infrastructure investments; both of which will play a major role in reducing emissions and assisting communities as they  adapt to a changing climate. We encourage Congress to include these priorities in any economic stimulus legislation.

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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