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The ocean is a solution to climate change.

For decades, the ocean has buffered the planet from the negative effects of excess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and this has taken a toll on the ocean’s health.

It was once thought the ocean was too big to fail—but, in reality, it is too big to ignore. We now know that not only do human actions impact the ocean, but that they can also play a much bigger role in combatting climate change.

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Ocean health and the livelihoods and economies that depend on it require the world to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The only way we can achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement is through greater climate action by all countries. Ocean-based climate solutions can deliver up to 35% of the annual greenhouse gas emission cuts needed in 2050 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

These solutions include:

  • Scaling ocean-based renewable energy
  • Decarbonising ocean-based transport
  • Conserving and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Utilising low carbon food from the ocean
  • Developing marine carbon dioxide removal and carbon capture and storage under the seabed
  • Decarbonising ocean-based tourism
  • Reducing offshore oil and gas

In 2019, Ocean Panel launched a ‘Call to Ocean-Based Climate Action’ at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York to outline a pathway towards greater action on ocean-based climate solutions.

While significant global progress has been made, the latest IPCC reports emphasise the gap that remains between ambition and action.

The Ocean Panel remains committed to ocean-based climate action and urges all actors to join them in advancing ambitious ocean-based solutions to support global efforts to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ocean Panel leaders discuss the value of ocean-climate solutions in tackling climate change.

Featured Resources

Full Report
Accelerating Ocean Climate Action Booklet
Full Report
Call to Action

Recent News


USA Confirms Sustainable Ocean Plan

Washington DC, USA – 3 June 2024  The White House has released three new strategies to advance sustainable ocean management, including a National Strategy for A Sustainable Ocean Economy.  This will serve as the USA’s…
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Ocean Panel representatives visit the Elysée in Paris

PARIS (16 May, 2024) - The Ocean Panel Sherpa group, representing 18 member countries, and 50% of global coastlines, convened at the office of the French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss key priorities for the…
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Top Ocean Moments at COP28

COP28 negotiations in Dubai ended early on the morning of 13 December, as countries agreed on a new deal to tackle climate change. For the first time, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) are mentioned…
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New Green Shipping Challenge Announcements made at COP28

Last year at COP27, two members of the Ocean Panel, Norway and the USA launched a new initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and challenged other countries, ports and companies to join them.  One…
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Ocean Panel Calls for Nations to Adopt 100% Sustainable Ocean Management Target

DUBAI (December 2, 2023) — On December 2, the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) launched the Joint Declaration on Ocean and Climate Action, calling for countries around the world to sustainably…
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Joint declaration on ocean and climate action

The health of the ocean, and the livelihoods and economies that depend on it, requires the world to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Achieving this goal…
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10 ocean events to watch out for at COP28

This year’s COP offers a unique and historic opportunity to correct the course on climate change through the first-ever “Global Stocktake”, shining a spotlight on whether the world is doing enough to curb emissions, build…
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Seychelles Op-Ed: The Ocean Offers Rich Solutions for Climate Change

As one of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we face a unique set of vulnerabilities that impede our ability to achieve sustainable development. Structural factors, including our size, remoteness, limited resource base, market size,…
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Joint Ocean Panel Leaders Communiqué 2023

We, the members of the Ocean Panel, acknowledge that a healthy ocean is the foundation for a healthy planet, and we must take urgent and interlinked actions to address the triple planetary crisis of climate…
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Ocean Panel Releases The Blue Carbon Handbook

The Ocean Panel released its latest report, 'The Blue Carbon Handbook', on the 28 June. With the urgency to accelerate climate action to halt the impacts of climate change, ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems offer a natural…
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However far we live from it, a healthy ocean is imperative to human health, from...

Tracking Blue: From Ambition to Action for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

The First Progress Report from The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy In...

Opportunities for Transforming Coastal and Marine Tourism: Towards Sustainability, Regeneration and Resilience

In December 2020, the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) released...

The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Updated Opportunities for Action

The ocean regulates our climate and can significantly buffer the worst impacts of climate change,...

100% Sustainable Ocean Management: An Introduction to Sustainable Ocean Plans

In 2020, the members of the Ocean Panel announced their shared ambition to sustainably manage...

Ocean Solutions that Benefit People, Nature and the Economy

'Ocean Solutions that Benefit People, Nature and the Economy' is a report commissioned by the...
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