December 13, 2018

COP 24 Side Event Discusses Ocean-NDC Linkages

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Lynn Wagner

7 December 2018: A side event at the Katowice Climate Change Conference focused on incorporating issues related to the ocean into nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change prepare to identify the mitigation and adaptation measures their country will take in response to climate change.

Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, stressed the need to address SDG 14 (life below water) in connection with SDG 13 (climate action) as well as other SDGs. He highlighted that action must focus on land-based sources of ocean pollution and called for “Source to Sea” actions, including building sewage lines to promote sanitation (SDG 6). Thomson also urged bridging the disconnect between the project financiers and information about ocean-related projects.

Action must focus on land-based sources of ocean pollution.

A number of speakers highlighted relevant upcoming meetings, including the second Ocean Conference, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2020. A European Regional Workshop on the “Because the Ocean” initiative will take place in April 2019, and will feature a high-level segment (HLS) to feed into the meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that is expected to approve a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) in Monaco in 2019. Also in 2019, a workshop on incorporating oceans in NDCs will convene in Suva, Fiji. Linkages with the ongoing negotiations on biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) were also noted.

A number of speakers highlighted important partnerships and initiatives for the ocean. For example, Thérèse Coffey, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, spoke about the UK’s Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership, which reports on climate change in marine areas. Nilesh Prakash, Ministry of Economy, Fiji, reiterated the importance of the Ocean Pathway Partnership to large ocean States. Susan Ruffo, Ocean Conservancy, noted the important role of the Because the Ocean initiative in making the Paris Agreement implementation guidelines ocean-friendly.

Report launches were also announced. Loreley Picourt, Ocean and Climate Platform, announced the launch of a report on the Decade of Ocean Science that will take place during Ocean Actions Day. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Global Ocean Forum, reported the completion of the second annual progress report on oceans and climate, which calls for urgent action on climate to ensure the world meets the 1.5ºC target.

The event was presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile, the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation, Tara Expéditions, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Climate, and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Sylvie Goyet, SPC, moderated the event. [IISD RS ENBOTS Coverage of the Side Event][Because the Ocean Initiative]