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A new way forward for ocean-climate policy as reflected in the UNFCCC Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue submissions

Dobush, Bobbi-Jo and Gallo, Natalya D. and Guerra, Melania and Guilloux, Bleuenn and Holland, Elisabeth A. and Seabrook, Sarah and Levin, Lisa A. (2021) A new way forward for ocean-climate policy as reflected in the UNFCCC Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue submissions. Climate Policy . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1469-3062

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Abstract

ABSTRACTThe ocean plays a central role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, climate and ocean policies have been historically siloed. After decades of slow convergence, the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, decided at COP25 and launched online in December 2020, was the first forum for Parties and non-Party stakeholders to the UNFCCC to give their perspectives on how the climate regime should address ocean-related mitigation and adaptation. The Ocean Dialogue was informed by 47 prior open submissions provided by a broad swath of actors from across the UN system and from civil society, including traditional and youth voices. Our analysis of the submissions demonstrates a political evolution towards the nexus among climate, ocean, and biodiversity regimes. The submissions uniformly acknowledge that ocean and climate systems are inextricably linked, and that consideration of ocean-based action will strengthen climate action and vice versa. Salient themes of the submissions include changing ocean impacts, carbon sinks and blue carbon opportunities, and the need for ecosystem resilience, biodiversity management and improved understanding of normative and institutional frameworks. There is a strong call to recognize the interconnectedness of the biophysical world. Similar themes emerged during the actual Ocean Dialogue and the subsequent informal meeting on next steps. The main message conveyed is the dire necessity to implement strong stewardship and good governance of the blue planet in a disrupted climate using cooperative and concrete actions. This analysis highlights the need for a continued transdisciplinary international dialogue on the ocean and climate change which elevates the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus via collaborative science, finance, and policy.Key policy insights Ocean and marine ecosystem impacts of climate change were widely acknowledged, and referenced by ninety-one percent of submissions.After decades of slow integration of ocean into climate policy, the Ocean Dialogue submissions acknowledge that climate policy must address linkages with the ocean and its biodiversity.Concerns include changing ocean impacts, carbon sinks and blue carbon opportunities, and the need for ecosystem resilience, biodiversity management and increased institutional interactions.Continuation of this Dialogue, with strengthened collaboration between States and non-state actors, may give rise to multilateral and multilevel decision-making toward sustainable climate, ocean and biodiversity action.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Q Science > QC Physics > QC980-999 Climatology and weather
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2021 13:55
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2021 13:55
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/13150
UNSPECIFIED

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