By 2050, a healthy and productive Ocean has delivered up to 35 percent GHG emissions reductions and contributed to a resilient, nature-positive and net zero world

Concrete pathways to deliver on Nature and Climate goals Creating an Ambition Loop for Ocean-based Climate Solutions

Catalyzing increased momentum for ocean-based climate action

The vast expanse of our oceans, from its mysterious abysses to its vibrant coasts, holds secrets yet to be unveiled. But one thing is certain: its indispensable role in making Earth a livable haven.

From the abysses to the coasts, much of the ocean, and the many wonders it holds, remain unexplored. Yet, its significance in sustaining life on our planet is undeniable. As a pivotal component of the global climate system, the ocean not only supports efforts to limit temperature rise but also bolsters resilience against climate impacts. Recent research led by the High-Level Panel on Ocean Sustainability indicates that full implementation of ocean-based climate solutions could reduce the “emissions gap” by up to 35 percent in 2050.

A myriad of initiatives from states, civil society organizations and the private sector have recently emerged, emphasizing the ocean’s role in climate dynamics and advocating for its inclusion in climate negotiations. These initiatives, including the Ocean for Climate Declaration, the Rise Up – Blue Call to Action or the Ocean Panel Call to action, have contributed to the recognition of  the ocean as a reservoir of untapped solutions and innovation. The challenge now lies in translating these declarations into tangible actions.

With over 70 percent of new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions incorporating at least one ocean-based climate measure, the momentum is undeniable. As NSAs commit to even more ambitious ocean efforts, the call for all stakeholders to “swim the talk” becomes louder. As we approach COP28 and the culmination of the first Global Stocktake, it is now imperative to reflect on the past five years and chart out a blue “ambition loop” to accelerate the implementation of ocean-based solutions.

Dive in with us, be part of the Ocean Breakthrough, and let’s turn the tide together. As we harness the ocean’s potential, we inch closer to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Read the Ocean for Climate Declaration

5 key ocean-based climate actions for People and Nature

Discover the Breakthroughs across five key ocean sectors

Marine Conservation

By 2030, investments of at least $72 billion secure the integrity of ocean ecosystems by protecting, restoring, and conserving at least 30% of the ocean for the benefit of people, climate, and nature.

    The protection, conservation and/or restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems (especially those known as blue carbon ecosystems – i.e. mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes) can contribute to achieving the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

    Marine conservation is a key sector to advance and scale-up ocean-based climate action. Incredibly diverse – from coral reefs, mangroves, saltmarshes to kelp forests and much more, marine and coastal ecosystems have a natural capacity for carbon storage and sequestration and hold great potential to deliver numerous co-benefits for people and Nature. These ecosystems are essential to food security and act as natural buffers against coastal erosion and the impacts of extreme weather events. Protecting, conserving, and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems is therefore critical to support the resilience and adaptation of coastal communities, and to deliver on global goals on Nature and Climate. These ecosystems, along with reefs, play a key role in strengthening coastal resilience through preventing coastal erosion, limiting storm surge and supporting local water quality, biodiversity and food security for local communities. As such, projects or initiatives aimed at the protection, conservation and/or restoration of these ecosystems also contribute directly to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including food security (SDG 2) and decent work (SDG 8).

    Discover the Coral Reef Breakthrough

    Discover the Mangrove Breakthrough


By 2030, zero emission fuels make up 5% of international shipping’s energy demand. 450,000 seafarers need to be retrained and upskilled. At least 30% of global trade needs to move through climate-adapting ports.

    Shipping transports around 90 percent of global trade and accounts for 3 percent of global GHG emissions, as the industry still massively relies on fossil fuels. The global shipping industry must therefore undergo major transformations and move forward with decarbonisation to align with the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement. Technology will have an important role to play in this crucial transition, especially to support the development of zero-emissions vessels and fuels. The creation of green corridors and resilient coastal infrastructures and ports are also crucial elements to reduce the carbon footprint and enhance the resilience of the shipping industry overall.

    In addition to transitioning towards a zero emission trajectory, actors of the sector must take action to reduce its impacts on nature and develop biodiversity-positive strategies. Indeed, shipping has major impacts on marine biodiversity and ecosystems as a source of noise pollution, a vector for non-indigenous and invasive species, and through collision with marine life and habitats. Assessing, reducing, and avoiding these negative impacts is a prerequisite for a nature-positive future of the sector.

    Discover Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough

Ocean Renewable Energy

By 2030, install at least 380 GW of offshore capacity while establishing targets and enabling measures for net-positive biodiversity outcomes and advocate for mobilizing $10bn in concessional finance for developing economies to reach that goal.

    The global energy landscape is transforming, driven by the urgent need to tackle climate change and transition towards a net zero future. As we strive to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, the marine renewable energy sector is a promising pathway to deliver on both the goals of the Paris Agreement and Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, while being supportive of an inclusive and just energy transition.

    As the most mature ocean-based energy technologies, offshore wind offers a critical opportunity to unite global action on the Climate and Nature Agendas. As a key climate mitigation measure, its accelerated and large-scale development would support the urgent need to halt biodiversity loss, driven to a large extent by climate change. In addition, important efforts are underway to assess and understand how to minimise and avoid potential negative effects of the industry on marine biodiversity, while being able to deliver at the pace required.

Aquatic Food

By 2030, provide at least $4bn per year to support resilient aquatic food systems that will contribute to healthy, regenerative ecosystems, and sustain the food and nutrition security for three billion people.

    Aquatic food is an important part of the world’s diet: 17 percent of the population relies on it for their protein intake, and demand is rising. By 2027, the global market for seafood is projected to reach $199bn. The production of “blue food” – derived from aquatic animals, plants or algae – is deeply dependent on healthy marine and coastal ecosystems. Yet, climate-induced changes in the ocean such as acidification or warmer water temperatures, practices such as unsustainable fishing, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and pollution, are deeply affecting marine ecosystems and life, and the distribution and abundance of fish stocks. The resilience and future of many coastal communities, whose food security and livelihoods greatly depend on those resources, are also in jeopardy.

    It is therefore critical for the sector to rethink its model and transition towards a biodiversity-positive and net zero future, and a sustainable management of natural resources, while adapting to changing environmental conditions.Numerous opportunities to achieve this transition along the value and supply chains of aquatic food production. Sustainable and climate-adaptive fisheries and aquaculture will be crucial for the resilience of the sector and its ability to provide healthy and sustainable products to the world’s growing demand.

Coastal Tourism

Breakthrough: Coming soon

    Coastal and marine tourism is the largest economic sector for most small island developing states. In a business-as-usual scenario, coastal tourism would likely become the largest ocean economy sector by 2030 globally. While the development of tourism remains highly positive for global economies, mass tourism on the coasts and at sea implies serious environmental impacts. For instance, tourism is a highly emission-producing industry with a major part concentrated in coastal areas.

    At the same time, coastal tourism is particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. Infrastructures are increasingly threatened by extreme weather and slow on-set events such as sea level rise. In addition, the industry is highly dependent on healthy coastal and marine ecosystems to offer leisure activities and attract visitors. The future of coastal tourism and its sub-sectors is therefore deeply reliant on its capacity to change and develop sustainably.

    The release of a Coastal Tourism headline is postponed to allow for more in depth discussion with the Coastal Tourism leads of the MP-GCA Ocean & Coastal Zones.

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The Ocean Breakthroughs are supported by the following organizations in their respective fields