Why the Ocean Matters in Climate Negotiations

Carol Turley, Marie-Fanny Racault, J Murray Roberts, Beth Scott, Jonathan Sharples, Torsten Thiele, Richard G. Williams, Phil Williamson

Research output: Book/ReportOther Report

Abstract

The ocean has greatly slowed the rate of climate change. But at a cost: the ocean has also warmed, acidified and lost oxygen, whilst circulation patterns are changing, and sea levels are rising. The continuation of these changes not only threatens marine ecosystems, but also the future ability of the ocean to indirectly support all life on Earth.
• A healthy and biodiverse ocean provides food, wellbeing, cultural heritage, and support for the sustainable livelihoods of billions of people – as well as mitigation and adaptation options for climate change.
• Rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement will decrease impacts on the ocean and benefit its ecosystems and all of society.
• As part of the “climate system” the ocean needs to be better integrated in UNFCCC mitigation, adaptation and financial processes, including Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans and the Global Stocktake.
• Improved ocean governance and management is needed to scale up marine protection and sustainable management of both the high seas and coastal waters.
• Sustained, global ocean observations and projections of ocean physics, chemistry and biology are essential to inform better short and long-term policy-making for the benefit of people, nature and the economy.
• Innovative ocean finance is required to achieve a sustainable ocean economy and protect the ocean’s natural capital.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCOP26 Universities Network Briefing
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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