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As the impacts of the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are universal in nature, our collective solutions must also be global. That means harnessing the potential of the 70 percent of the globe that is covered by ocean. To do so will build a more resilient and sustainable world, while addressing the enormous impact these crises have on so many lives.
The numbers show how central the ocean is to managing climate. It absorbs a quarter of all carbon emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat they generate. A report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) shows that ocean-based climate action can play a much bigger role in shrinking the world’s carbon footprint than was previously thought. Actions across ocean-based renewable energy, shipping and transport, “blue carbon” ecosystems, and low-carbon sources of protein from the ocean could deliver up to a fifth (21%, or 11 GtCO2e) of the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts needed in 2050 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
As part of London Climate Action Week 2020 (LCAW2020), this event will look at role that ocean-based climate action can play in delivering the environmental, social, health and financial benefits we need to see as humanity emerges from the COVID-19 crisis. What we do now is simultaneously vital for the climate crisis, and opportunities to do things better lie in the ocean. It has a role to play in solving our climate challenges and restoring economies, ecosystems and societies in a post-COVID-19 world. The Ocean Panel maintains that a sustainable ocean economy is the foundation needed for unleashing these solutions.
Participants in this event will include the report’s authors and experts, government members of the Ocean Panel and new private sector partnerships aimed at delivering on the potential of ocean-based climate action. This event can provide a critical bridge from the COP25 as the “Blue COP” to COP26 in 2021.
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