The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), taking place from 31 October to 12 November 2022 in Glasgow, UK, is an opportunity to move ocean climate conservation up the political agenda and raise public awareness that we cannot solve the climate crisis without ocean action.
The OneOcean team and Flotilla partners on the ground are working hard to give the ocean a voice and amplify the importance of ocean action to help solve the climate crisis.
COP26 is off to a good start for ocean-climate action but there’s still a long way to go!
Stay tune for more updates and ocean-climate action from #COP26 as we continue to cover more events and panel discussions including the launch of a new IPSO paper titled The forgotten ocean – why COP26 must call for vastly greater ambition and urgency to address ocean change, COP26 Ocean Action Day and more.
Day 1 – Welcome to COP26
The conference kicked off with a series of ocean actions including the launch of the 3rd Because The Ocean Declaration and the release of a music track made of 100% ocean sound recordings to give the ocean a voice and inspire delegates and world leaders to #ListenToTheOcean.
Leaders Summit, November 1-2
Statements and declarations by world leaders during the #COP26 Leaders Summit, 1-2 November, demonstrated a clear understanding of what’s at stake, but overall the number of ocean mentions was disappointingly low.
Day 3 – Roundup of the Leaders Summit
Some leaders recognized the role that the ocean plays in mitigating the impacts of climate change, others shared their genuine concerns for the future of their sinking countries and cities due to sea level rise. Some took concrete action for the ocean. The President of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia, jointly announced the declaration of a new marine reserve in the Galapagos.
Day 3 – Finance Day
On Finance Day, November 3, the focus of the OneOcean Flotilla on the ground was on calling for increased public and private finance into ocean management that mitigates further damage to #BlueNature.
Day 4 – Energy Day
The transition to zero carbon energy raises questions of not just where we are coming from but where we are going to. Commitments to stop using coal for energy needs are well received but we must ensure that extraction of other fossil fuels, for example in the Cambo oil field in the North of Scotland is something that is also ended in years ahead.
Continued burning of fossil fuels and the resulting CO2 emissions have led to ocean heating, sea level rise, ocean acidification and deoxygenation.
Day 5 – Ocean Day
On Ocean Day, we took the opportunity to celebrate and amplify the heart of our planet.
The day started at Goals House with Project Everyone and guests to discuss how we can raise ocean concerns and engagement through popular culture. There was also a High Level roundtable co-hosted by the UK Government and the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA).
The Nature Newsroom broadcasting was handed over to the OneOcean Flotilla for a day of all ocean content. And the awesome biologist, Dr Helen Scales, acted as our news anchor throughout.
We also saw ministers reasserting their commitments to protect at least 30% of the ocean through fully and highly protected areas by 2030, and to secure a robust a High Seas Treaty.
Outside the COP, young people were making their voices heard in support of climate action and in the evening there were talks and gathering about how we can achieve recognition that the ocean is at the heart of climate change and so should be at the heart of these negotiations.
Day 10 – Update on Ocean Negotiations
Today we saw a first draft of the decision text which contains some of the requested elements to strengthen ocean action in the UNFCCC. The negotiations are ongoing and the text could change but this is a step forward for the ocean. There was less progress more broadly and the draft text doesn’t currently put us on track to achieve the 1.5C. With only two days to go, the COP still have a lot to achieve. Read the full update here.
COP26 Penultimate Day
It’s the penultimate day at COP26. In Plenary, this morning the president of the conference said that there was still a long way before an outcome is being achieved with significant differences on a number of issues including finance.
In the meantime, protests continue outside and the world continues to watch and voice its increasingly urgent demand for meaningful action.
The global ocean community continues to urge world leaders to #ListenToTheOcean.
COP26 – Blue Enough?
Has COP26 been blue enough? We asked a panel of ocean advocates.