Ocean Highlight at UNFCCC COP25

The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference took place in December 2-13 in Madrid, Spain. The Conference featured the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC and meetings of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies. As the ocean being increasingly affected by the global rise in temperatures, and therefore significantly impacting marine ecosystems, coastal areas and human societies, it has become a major topic of discussion at COP25. The COP25 was thus dubbed the Blue COP originally by the Chilean Presidency, and finally implemented by Spain. Thanks to the efforts of ocean experts, politicians, activists, and organizations, a Blue COP it is.

A few highlights of the ocean elements during the COP25 are summarized below:

Highlights of COP Decisions in relation to the ocean

30. Commends the efforts of the COP25 President to highlight the importance of the ocean, including as an integral part of the Earth’s climate system, and of ensuring the integrity of ocean and coastal ecosystems in the context of climate change.

31. Requests the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to convene in June 2020 a dialogue on the ocean and climate change to consider how to strengthen mitigation and adaptation action in this context.

Full text of COP25 Decisions at: https://unfccc.int/resource/cop25/1cop25_auv.pdf

Ocean for Climate: Moving from Science to Policy

On December 2nd, a high-level event “Ocean for Climate: Moving from Science to Policy” was held at the French Pavilion. Several renowned actors from the scientific world highlighted the importance of the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus and presented the main issues raised by the Platform’s new Policy Recommendations for “a healthy ocean, a protected climate”.

More information at: https://ocean-climate.org/?p=8537&lang=en

The 13th Focal Point Forum of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on the Ocean

The interactive Focal Point Forum of NWP was held on 6 December 2019, bringing together professionals working on oceans, coastal areas and ecosystems, including mega deltas, coral reefs and mangroves. At the Forum, the scoping paper findings were used as an entry point to assess adaptation and resilience pathways, encourage the co-design of actions, and mobilize support for implementing these actions in 2020.

More information at: https://unfccc.int/event/13th-focal-point-forum-of-the-nairobi-work-programme-on-the-ocean

Ocean Action Day at COP25

Oceans Action Day at COP25 took place from 6-7 December 2019, assessing existing ocean and climate action and identified the gaps that need to be addressed. The events also considered the need to ensure that discussions on the ocean-climate nexus take into account the magnitude and importance of this interface.

More information at: https://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop25/oceans-action-day/