While a year ago the ocean was still missing in climate discussions, it was finally included in the Paris Agreement at COP21 and will the subject of an IPCC special report.It is now time to implement the commitments made by signatory States of the Paris Agreement. The race has started for each member State to define ocean-specific measures in time.
The Ocean and Climate Platform is pursuing its goal: perpetuate the presence of the ocean in “climate” negotiations, in order to achieve significant progress by 2018.
The ocean at the center of the climate machine
Covering 71% of the globe, the ocean produces over 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs approximately 30% of CO2 and 93% of excess heat generated by human activity. The unprecedented appreciation of the international community for the ocean, as a crucial climate regulator, during COP21 is just a first step considering the extent of disruptions.
The race for the protection of the planet’s lung and the ecosystem that absorbs 25% of GHG emissions has begun. Its chemical composition constantly evolves and marine life has been directly enduring 30% of acidification since the industrial revolution. At this pace, acidification could increase by 150% by 2100, putting most marine ecosystems at risk.
A source of solutions to protect
The ocean is also a great source of solutions in terms of sustainable development. Technological or nature-based solutions, fully considering the ocean requires major awareness initiatives toward political stakeholders.
«Protecting climate by protecting the ocean and its vital functions seems more and more obvious. The battle has just begun. For the Ocean and Climate Platform, one of the long-term issues is to raise automatic reflexes regarding the ocean. The major challenge is to create an actual ocean culture in the minds of climate negotiators and decision-makers. There is a great opportunity to seize. By learning from the past, we can build foundations for a new economy, where scientific and economic stakeholders could collaborate to develop ocean friendly solutions. It is still time to act!» explained, Research Director at CNRS and coordinator of the Ocean & Climate Platform scientific committee, Françoise Gaill.
1.5° C, a flood scenario
Global warming over 1.5 C degrees would have major impacts on sea-level rise. It will increase from 9cm to 88cm by 2100 depending on the IPCC scenarios. The future of coastal populations, approximately 80% of the global population, directly depends on our collective capacity to efficiently seize “ocean and climate” issues. In fact, it will very likely be through the Green Climate Fund. This fund must also help adaptation of States with coastal areas already greatly affected by climate change.
Make decision-makers, civil society and scientists work together to boost an international action plan in favor of the ocean.
During COP22, the Ocean and Climate Platform will pursue its mobilization with States and the civil society. It will organize the second Ocean & Climate Forum on November 11 in the civil society area and will co-organize the Ocean Action Day on November 12 in the blue zone/ negotiation zone.
The goal is to write in the contributions of each State an “ocean” action plan pertaining to coastal zones, populations, ecosystems, etc. Mitigation, adaptation, funding, science, youth, are all thematic areas which need to be addressed via the Action Agenda during the Ocean for Climate Days on November 11 & 12 in Marrakesh.
About the Ocean and Climate Platform
The Ocean and Climate Platform was established as an alliance of non-governmental organizations and research institutes, with support from the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission on June 10 2014, during the World Ocean day.
Today the Platform includes scientific organizations, universities, research institutions, non-profit associations, foundations, science centers, public institutions and business organizations, all acting to bring the ocean to the forefront in climate discussions.
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