COP27 Climate Conference Achieved Some Progress for the Oceans

COP27 closing session
Courtesy COP27 Presidency

Published Nov 24, 2022 6:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, the two-week COP27 climate summit ended in Egypt. It paved the way for the adoption of the Sharm el- Sheikh Implementation Plan, which to some analysts fell short of expectations. The plan reiterates achieving the 1.5 0C target, but falls short on concrete action to pivot the world to carbon neutrality by 2050, according to its critics.

Remarkably, after years of negotiations between developing and developed countries, this COP finally reached a consensus on the creation of a specific fund for loss and damage related to climate risks.

Most importantly, the ocean received momentous attention in this COP event. The conference’s final plan acknowledges the role of the ocean and further pledges to strengthen the mandate for the annual Ocean-Climate Dialogue.

The ocean community was strongly mobilized in COP 27 leading to the hosting of an Ocean Pavilion, featuring more than 300 ocean-related events.

As a result, several declarations emerged around the critical role of the ocean in the Earth’s climate system.

First, as a step towards “Race to Zero” in blue economy development, ten shipping organizations and green hydrogen producers committed to produce and deploy at least five million tons of green hydrogen by 2030.

To reinforce the global force on the uptake of offshore wind, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the US joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), founded at COP26.

Second, blue carbon ecosystems got a major boost with the launch of the Mangrove Breakthrough. This entails an investment target of $4 billion to support conservation of 15 million hectares of mangroves by 2030.

Separately, the Netherlands introduced the Champions Group for Deltas and Coastal Zones. The goal is to harmonize action between countries and small island states to realize sustainable management of deltas and coastal zones in the short and medium-term.

In the final conference plan, member countries were encouraged to consider appropriate ocean-based action in their national climate goals.