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Plymouth Marine Laboratory endorses the ‘Ocean For Climate Declaration’ ahead of COP26

25 October 2021

More than 90 organisations are supporting the call to scale-up ocean-based climate solutions and action.

With just one week until the start of COP26, the publication of the ‘Ocean for Climate Declaration’ has renewed calls for global action to ensure a sustainable future for the ocean, its ecosystems, and the lives and livelihoods that depend upon it. 

Ocean sunset

The Declaration has been spearheaded by Race to Zero - the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero-carbon world.

PML - which is leading and supporting a series of ocean-related events at COP26 -  is among the organisations giving their backing to the Declaration, which is calling on State Parties to the UNFCCC to: 

•    Intensify efforts to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, by halving global emissions by 2030 in line with the IPCC recommendations, and committing to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050 to protect the Ocean, its ecosystems, species and resources;

•    Strengthen the integration of, and implement actions to further address the ocean-climate nexus across existing UNFCCC processes and the Paris Agreement, in line with the conclusions of the SBSTA Ocean and Climate Dialogue;

•    Scale-up action at the national level and include ocean-related measures in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and their implementation - such as accounting for ocean change risks, restoring and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems, especially blue carbon (i.e. mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses), developing large-scale offshore wind and marine renewable energy with net-positive biodiversity impact, decarbonizing the shipping and aquatic food industries and climate-proofing aquatic food systems;

•    Ensure a "just transition" to ocean-based climate solutions by prioritizing standards that promote positive social impact, embedding human rights and environmental justice into decision-making at all levels, to safeguard the most vulnerables and in particular women and children who are disproportionately exposed to ocean risk, as well as Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed countries (LDCs).

•    Adopt ecosystem-based approaches to sustainably and equitably manage 100% of the global Ocean, and implement strong conservation measures or protections for at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030 in order to deliver outcomes for climate, biodiversity and people;

•     Recognize the need and importance of area-based management tools, including a global network of highly protected, connected, effectively implemented and climate-proofed MPAs, Indigenous Peoples and Local Community (IPLC) conserved areas and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECM), as tools for building ocean and coastal resilience, safeguarding the Planet’s largest carbon sink and largest reservoir of biodiversity;

•    Increase the share of climate finance for ocean-based mitigation and adaptation strategies, including by implementing policy and regulatory frameworks that foster investment, support technical assistance, facilitate access, and rechannel investments and subsidies away from activities harmful to coastal and marine ecosystems, investing them instead in protection, science and innovation for ocean-based climate and resilience strategies;

•    Strengthen ocean-climate science – observations, research, and data-sharing – building on the UN Decades of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and of Ecosystem Restoration, including the value of Traditional and Indigenous knowledge for informing decisions and developing solutions; 

•    Leverage other global processes to build synergies across ocean-climate action – including with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Maritime Organization, the World Trade Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the International Seabed Authority