At the recent IUCN Leaders Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, IUCN President Razan Al Mubarak announced an ambitious global marine conservation and climate action initiative – The Ocean Breakthroughs.
Developed by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and with the support of the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, The Ocean Breakthroughs presents specific targets spanning over five key ocean sectors – marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food, and coastal tourism – with the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 percent by 2050.
These targets are:
- Investing at least $72 billion to protect, restore and conserve at least 30 percent of the ocean;
- Reaching at least 380 GW of installed offshore wind capacity and ensuring the availability of concessional finance to support renewable energy projects in developing countries;
- Upskilling 450,000 seafarers, creating climate-adapted ports and achieving 5 percent of zero emission fuels in shipping;
- Providing at least $4 billion per year in support of resilient aquatic food systems to ensure sustainable and secure food supplies for three billion people;
- Striving for sustainable coastal tourism.
Ms. Al Mubarak, who is also the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, highlighted how the initiative arrives at a time when humanity is facing a dual challenge: the crisis of biodiversity loss and the ever-escalating threat of climate change:
“With over a quarter of the world’s species threatened with extinction, the situation is dire. Our very survival, from our daily bread and water to protection from extreme weather events, hinges upon a healthy ecosystem. The planet’s capacity to sustain us, to ensure our wellbeing, is critically dependent on halting this ongoing loss of life.”
Although the challenge is significant, Ms. Al Mubarak reflected on the possibility it presents for teamwork and innovation:
“It’s a challenge we are ready for. It also presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate leadership, foster collaboration and design innovative strategies for change on a global scale.”