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10 ocean activities to look out for at COP27

COP 27 begins on 6 November 2022 with a focus on delivering climate action. Attention will be on national governments to shift from commitment to implementation through specific, measurable, and impactful initiatives that can help to halt climate change.



Nov 4, 2022

The ocean has an integral part to play in the world’s efforts to drive down emissions. Research finds that ocean-based climate actions can deliver up to 21% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions cuts needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2050, helping to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.

Ocean-based climate solutions are diverse, from renewable energy to sustainable food to coastal protection all of which benefit people and planet. With delivery being the focus of this years COP, the ocean holds even more importance and will be showcased across COP’s thematic days and in the first-ever Ocean Pavilion.

Here is a selection of 10 ocean activities that form a ‘blue thread’ throughout the conference:

1. In-person ocean pavilion
The first-ever ocean pavilion at COP will serve as a central hub for conference delegates to exchange ideas about how to address climate change by leveraging the ocean. The creation of this pavilion marks a change in the way the ocean is considered in its relationship to climate change as well as in how it is integrated into major climate discussions— less of a victim and more as a key source of solutions.

A full schedule of events is available on the official pavilion site.

2. Virtual ocean pavilion
This free online portal allows participants to access live and on-demand COP 27 ocean events, explore virtual exhibition booths and discover a treasure trove of information about the ocean and climate connection.

The pavilion will:

    • Host panel sessions linking the ocean with the themes of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue themes to provide input to these discussions (5 live days and over 15 live sessions with translation);
    • Showcase national and international initiatives on ocean and climate through 50 exhibitions including booths on major ocean-related events in 2022;
    • Provide multiple opportunities for networking and developing synergies among attendees;
    • Feature interviews with Party negotiators to gain insights on the status of discussions;
    • Offer educational and fun features on the platform and in the booths;
    • Provide a gateway to ocean and climate stories from around the world and links to other ocean events at and around the COP.

3. Ocean Panel Side Event – Translating Ambition into Ocean and Climate Action: Perspectives from the Ocean Panel
November 15 | 10:30 – 11:30am | US Pavilion
This event will bring together governments from the Ocean Panel to showcase examples of leadership in implementing ocean-based climate solutions — including shipping decarbonisation, scaling ocean-based energy and improving the sustainability of food from the ocean — and highlight opportunities for greater collaboration and partnership with industry and local communities to advance ambitious outcomes for the ocean and climate.

For ocean-based updates of activities from COP 27, follow the Ocean Panel on social media.

4. Blue Ambition Loop: Creating an Ambition Loop for Ocean-based Climate Solutions
November 11 | 12:15 – 13:15 | Ocean Pavilion
This event will encourage governments to further include ocean-based climate solutions in their revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and civil society to scale-up ocean efforts to tackle climate change and support resilience. It will showcase key examples of solutions, including energy, conservation, transport and food, to reduce global emissions and support a healthier and nature-positive world.
The event will build on two new reports on the state of ocean-based climate solutions. The first report is a new analysis which unpacks the suite of new ocean-based climate targets and solutions included in new and updated NDCs, while the second one synthesises the state of non-state actor action in key ocean sectors.

5. Ocean Futures Lab – Thinking outside the shell: Towards the sustainable blue future we need
Tuesday November 8 | 8:30am – 10:00am | Nature pavilion
Building on the Ocean for Climate Declaration, the Ocean Futures Lab will showcase innovative ocean-based climate actions for systems change to accelerate the transition to a regenerative, just, and resilient world in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Bringing together experts across sectors, the event will explore ocean renewable energy and sustainable aquatic food production. Ocean Panel supporting member Peter Thomson, UN SG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean is among the speakers for this event.

6. COP 27: The Ocean x Climate Summit
Friday November 11 | All Day Event | Park Regency Hotel
Oceanic Global and partners will host an all-day Summit to immerse global stakeholders in the importance and potential of the ocean within the climate change narrative, and to support multi-stakeholder action for the ocean and all it sustains. The full-day Summit has been designed to facilitate an inclusive and collaborative space for multiple stakeholder engagement from other ocean organizations, communities, thought leaders, youth, institutions and governments.

7. Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition by Ending Plastic Pollution:Capitalizing on climate commitments, community action and a strong global plastics agreement
Friday November 11 | 4:15 – 5:15pm | Nature Pavilion
Made from and powered by fossil fuels, plastics produce 3-4% of greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the climate resilience of the ocean and coastal communities, and could lock in 20% of global oil demand by 2050. Ending plastic pollution creates a path to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement goals. As governments work through the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) to end plastic pollution, this panel will address how they can learn from and contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This event will help raise awareness of the direct link between climate change and ocean health and help decision-makers advance the specific priority that climate action is ocean action. Hosted by Ocean Action 2030 member, Ocean Conservancy.

8. Scaling-up Investment in Nature-based Solutions (NbS): Challenges and Opportunities | Environment and Climate Change Canada
Wednesday November 16 | 10:15 – 11:15am | Canada Pavillion
This panel event will include participation by high-level speakers focusing on the importance of scaling-up finance and investment in nature-based solutions (NbS) to meet our climate and biodiversity goals. Panelists will present their views on current challenges and barriers to mobilising investment, and the potential opportunities and solutions for overcoming them. Canada is a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

9. A Wave of Ambition for Ocean and Climate Action
November 16 | 1:30 – 2:30pm | US Pavilion
This event will highlight the role of the Our Ocean Conference as a pivotal moment to spur global ocean action, including through actions related to the implementation of the Ocean Conservation Pledge (OCP). The OCP aims to support the protection of the global ocean by encouraging countries to commit to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of their jurisdictional ocean waters by 2030.

10. Ocean Visuals Launch
A new evidence-based collection of impactful and diverse imagery of ocean, coastal and climate stories has been released by Climate Visuals ahead of COP27. The Ocean Visuals collection is accessible and free to use by the media, journalists, non-profit sector, campaigners and educators in articles and communications.


Featured Image: Reuben Pillay / Climate Visuals

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