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Ocean-based Solutions Key to Mitigating Climate Change

A new report from the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy has emphasised the pivotal role of ocean-based actions in averting the consequences of climate change. The study said readily deployable ocean solutions have the potential to reduce emissions by up to 35% on a 1.5°C trajectory by 2050, equivalent to four times the annual emissions of the entire EU. The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change unveiled during the Ocean Panel’s annual meeting in New York, attended by 17 heads of state called for immediate collective efforts to implement ocean-based climate solutions. Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway and Co-chair of the Ocean Panel, said: “This latest report demonstrates the significant potential of ocean-based climate action in closing the emissions gap. Ocean-based climate action is the lifeline that coastal and ocean states must take advantage of to help benefit the climate while creating jobs and economic prosperity. The report, authored by 28 independent experts from four continents, 13 universities, and six NGOs, assesses seven ocean-based sectors’ potential to combat climate change while promoting a sustainable ocean economy and safeguarding coastal communities. These sectors include scaling ocean-based renewable energy, decarbonising ocean transport, conserving marine ecosystems, utilising low-carbon oceanic food sources, marine carbon dioxide removal, decarbonising ocean-based tourism, and reducing offshore oil and gas extraction. While Sustainable Development Goal 14 focuses on ocean conservation and sustainable use, it remains one of the least funded UN goals, accounting for only 0.01% of development funding. To achieve the full potential of ocean-based emissions reductions, the Ocean Board said a targeted investment of US$2 trillion between 2030 and 2050 is imperative. 

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