“The increased consideration of ocean issues can serve as an accelerator for raising climate change mitigation and adaptation ambition.” Valvanera Ulargui, Director General, Office of Climate Change, Spain.
Gathering fifty experts from European governments, intergovernmental and academic organizations and observers from NGOs, the Before the Ocean workshop took place in Madrid 10 and 11 April 2019.
A special edition of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin by the International Institute on Sustainable Development is now available online [Pdf: Before the Blue COP Bulletin]
Main take-aways from the two days of intense work include:
- There are significant interlinkages between the ocean and climate, and silos between the two policy communities are starting to break down;
- Knowledge on ocean and climate interlinkages is improving, but more research is needed to substantiate emerging findings;
- The publication of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in September 2019 is a great opportunity to increase general awareness on the ocean climate nexus ahead of COP 25 and in anticipation of the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030);
- It is key to ensure environmental integrity and accountability in the context of ocean and climate action;
- Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement offer opportunities to address ocean and climate interlinkages, but other vehicles such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) should also be considered as they can be more conducive to certain types of ocean-enhanced climate action;
- Concentrating on advocating for the inclusion of a dedicated UNFCCC agenda item on the ocean might risk delaying meaningful action;
- There is ‘great appetite’ for political initiatives to increase the momentum on the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus, provided that they have an added-value compared to existing declarations; and
- Cooperation between the marine and climate communities should be fostered at international, regional, and national levels.
Special thanks go to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition of the Government of Spain, its Fundación Biodiversidad and the Intemares Life programme for their support throughout the preparations and running of the workshop.