Confronting Climate Change

Taking the ocean into account is critical for successfully addressing climate change, and addressing climate change is critical for the future of the ocean.

Blue COP 25

Driving Ocean-Climate Action

Ocean issues are a main focus of the 2019 U.N. climate summit. This is in recognition of the role of the ocean in our climate system, as well as the role that the ocean can play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is also in recognition of the profound impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems and our communities and economies.

For too long, countries have largely overlooked ocean issues in the context of U.N. climate agreements. There is now a growing movement, however, to better integrate ocean issues into the global fight against climate change. COP25 is an important step in this movement.

At COP25, Ocean Conservancy is advancing global ocean-climate action to safeguard our ocean and the billions of people who rely on it.

Ocean as a Climate Solution Infographic


Ocean Conservancy is working with governments in the United States and around the world to defend our ocean and climate. Several initiatives and guidance documents launched at COP25.

  • Pacific Rim Ocean-Climate Action Partnership (PROCAP): PROCAP is a coalition to protect the world’s largest ocean in the face of climate change. This national-subnational partnership is resolved to drive ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, maximize sustainable ocean-related mitigation measures, and build the climate resilience of ocean and coastal ecosystems as well as the communities and economies on the front lines of ocean and climate change. PROCAP had a soft launch at COP25 with a founding set of members, including California, Fiji, Costa Rica, Peru, and Panama.
  • Models for Ocean-Climate Action from the Pacific Coast of North America: The Pacific Coast Collaborative—which includes the States of California, Oregon, and Washington and the Province of British Columbia—is working to confront the ocean and climate crises. Collectively and individually, these governments are addressing the causes of ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions while increasing the resilience of coastal communities. For COP25, the Collaborative has detailed its progress in order to serve as a global example.
  • U.S. States Taking Ocean-Climate Action: The United States has begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, but U.S. states continue to confront the climate crisis, including on ocean issues. Along both coasts, states are seeing the damaging impacts of climate change firsthand. In this bicoastal and bipartisan call to action, states outline their principles for ocean-climate stewardship and urge countries to create increasingly ambitious and “ocean-smart” climate goals. Signatories include Maryland, Washington, California, Hawaii, Virginia, and Rhode Island.
  • Ocean-Climate Guide to Action: California announced its first “Ocean-Climate Contribution” at COP 24 in 2018. This new report, the “Ocean-Climate Guide to Action,” provides a comprehensive view of California’s portfolio of ocean-climate work and details the key actors, policies, and financial support that enabled them. It also highlights lessons learned and considerations for other jurisdictions. This compendium is the first of its kind and will provide a concrete model for ocean-climate action.


Ocean-Climate Leadership at the Blue COP
09 December 2019 | 11:30am – 12:45pm CET
U.S. Climate Action Center | COP25 | Madrid
Live streaming:
U.S. nonfederal and international leaders discuss their ocean-climate actions and announce new initiatives that are launching at the “Blue COP.” Featuring leaders from California, Fiji, Costa Rica, Maryland, Washington State, Hawaii, and others.
Organized by Ocean Conservancy and featuring Gwynne Taraska and Anne Merwin
Full agenda

High-Level Event on Ocean-Climate Action
11 December 2019 | 12:00 – 13:30 CET
Chile Pavilion | COP25 | Madrid
A discussion on the growing ocean-climate movement, progress at COP25, and next steps in 2020. Featuring ministers from Fiji, Sweden, Norway, Indonesia, Canada, and Chile.
Organized by Ocean Conservancy and featuring Gwynne Taraska
Full agenda

Ocean for Climate: Moving from Science to Policy
2 December 2019 | 16:30-17:30
French Pavilion | COP25 | Madrid
High-level stakeholders from the scientific, civil society and development world will address the Ocean and Climate nexus as a key component to raise our ambition and achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Featuring Anna Zivian

Moving from Science to Action: Ocean-Climate Policy Recommendations
4 December 2019 | 16:30-18:00
EU Pavilion | COP25 | Madrid
Presenting 20 policy recommendations from the Ocean and Climate Platform.
Featuring Anna Zivian

The Future of Sea Level Rise and Potential Response Options
6 December 2019 | 2:30-3:45 pm CET
IPCC – WMO Science Pavillion | COP25 | Madrid
IPCC scientists and leaders from the government, insurance, and nonprofit sectors discuss sea level rise predictions and needed policy responses
Featuring Anne Merwin

Scaling Up Ocean Action and Climate Action in a Synergistic Manner Through the Communities of Ocean Action
7 December 2019 | 13:00-14:15 CET
Sustainable Development Goals Pavilion | COP25 | Madrid
Ocean Conservancy co-hosted alongside IMO of the Community of Ocean Action on Marine Litter
Featuring Luis Estévez-Salmerón

Blogs and Analysis

  • Markers of a Blue COP25

    By Gwynne Taraska


  • Bringing Our Ocean to This Year’s UN Climate Change Conference

    By Janis Searles Jones


A Note from Ocean Conservancy on COVID-19

Read More
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