A healthy ocean is an essential ally in the world’s fight against climate change. Protecting the marine environment and restoring key habitats – from seagrasses and mangroves to saltmarshes and coral reefs – is critical to help the world tackle climate change and respond to its impacts.

International Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said, “the ocean plays a unique role in regulating our climate. There is no pathway to net zero – or any of our shared global goals – that does not involve protecting and restoring nature, including the ocean, on an unprecedented scale.”

The UK Presidency called upon world leaders to take ambitious steps towards ocean health and resilience in order to achieve net zero ambitions and keep a rise of no more than 1.5°C within reach.

The UN’s take on Ocean Action:

  1. Climate action is ocean action. For the health of the ocean, secure global net zero emissions no later than 2050 and keep a rise of no more than 1.5°C within reach. This includes decarbonising the shipping sector and scaling up offshore renewable energy.
  2. The ocean is part of the response to climate change. Protect, restore and sustainably manage key marine habitats and species, including blue carbon habitats, driving marine nature-based solutions that will help us and the ocean to mitigate, adapt and be resilient to climate change as part of Paris Agreement commitments.
  3. Protect the ocean to address climate change and biodiversity loss together. Commit to protect at least 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030 (30by30), and work towards achieving an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.
  4. Invest in ocean-climate action. Commit to increasing finance for marine nature-based solutions, ocean protection and restoration, throughout the next five years as part of commitments to increasing finance for nature.
  5. Underpin ocean action with transformative ocean science. Collaborate through the unique opportunity offered by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to enhance global ocean observations and deliver accessible data for all.

Read more about the UK’s ocean health commitments here.

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