IPCC Special Report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has decided the strategy and timeline for its next series of reports, the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) (press release). This also includes two special reports: on climate change and oceans and the cryosphere and on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystem. The achievement of an IPCC Special Report on the Ocean will enable, for the first time, the development of an integrated vision of climate change impacts on the ocean and its role in the climate system.
Ocean & Climate Platform
Since 2016, the European Marine Board joined the IOC-UNESCO supported initiative ‘Ocean & Climate Platform’ (website). This Platform, established in 2014, is an alliance of NGOs and research institutes. It aims to advocate the role of ocean from climate change challenges. Throughout 2015, their activities had led to various milestones including raising public awareness and generating collective actions across stakeholders. EMB also takes part in their scientific committee bureau to ensure an aligned scientific advice from its international research network.
Paris Climate Conference
The Paris Climate Conference (COP21) sealed its agreement (final text) on 12 December. For the first time the ocean is included in the preamble and in the agreement itself under the banner of ‘ecosystem integrity.’ In the lead up to and throughout COP21, the ocean community has mobilized and joined forces from across the world to campaign for the role of the ocean to be acknowledged and included by the UN in a climate change agreement. Among the various ocean-related activities was the #OceanforClimate petition by the Ocean-Climate Platform (link), a high-level declaration “Because the Ocean” signed by 22 States (link), and many COP21 side events under the dedicated Ocean theme (Climate Generations Areas programme) and Oceans Day, organized by the Global Ocean Forum, IOC/UNESCO, and UNEP (link).
Congratulating the EU’s achievements in the negotiations at COP21, Commissioner Carlos Moedas stressed that “Science and innovation are crucial to implement” the Paris agreement (Link & Video). The Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement jointly issued by the European Marine Board and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership was one of over 500 official COP21 labelled projects. The Consensus Statement provides recommendations for ocean-climate research priorities. The EMB secretariat will continue to actively promote the Statement. In In this regard, there have been recent exchanges with the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) and relevant COST Action networks.
Further information on current ocean climate initiatives:
- ECRA Collaborative Programme on the Arctic (Arctic ECRA Strategy and Work Plan) & Sea Level and Climate Change (http://ecra-climate.eu/)
- EU-PolarNet (http://www.eu-polarnet.eu/ )
- Current and past COST Actions related to ocean & climate: MIGRATE, EOS, INTIMATE, SMOS
- LIFE Programme and Climate Change Adaptation (document)
- Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete press conference (video) on 14 December 2015
- EC DG Research & Innovation side events at COP21 (link)
- EU research and innovation supports delivery on COP21 commitments (news)
Participation in Oceans Day at COP21 (3 & 4 December, Le Bourget, Paris, France)
Ocean and climate is one of the themes during the conference and debates of COP21. EMB Secretariat (Niall McDonough and Nan-Chin Chu) participated the Ocean & Climate Forum (3 December) (programme) and Oceans Day (4 December) (programme) to promote the OCNexus forum and the Consensus Statement.
Promoting Consensus Statement recommendations at UNESCO Underwater Cultural Heriage during COP21 (3 December, Le Bourget, Paris, France)
EMB Science Officer Nan-Chin Chu presented the Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement and EMB WG SUBLAND at a UNESCO workshop 'Understanding the History of Climate Change and Sealevel Rise' in the Climate Generation Areas of the Le Bourget site, where the COP21 climate negotiations took place.
Reception at the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (12 November, Paris, France)
As OCNexus is a COP21-labelled project, EMB received an invitation from the French Mnister Mme Ségolène Royal for a reception at the Ministry. Mme Royal thanked the 600 projects that were awared the label of their enthusiasm and dedication. Among the 600 labeled projects, 16% are dedicated to research and education.
Presentation at the European Parliament SEARICA Intergroup Meeting (29 October, Strasbourg, France)
EMB Science Officer Nan-Chin Chu presented the Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, as part of the Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas European Parliament Intergroup conference on the maritime perspective of climate change prior to the COP 21 meeting. This European Parliament event provides an opportunity to discuss the role of our seas and ocean in climate negotiations with Members of the European Parliaments.
Presentation at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership members' meeting and to the Council on Foreign Relations (28 October, Washington D.C., U.S.A.)
EMB Executive Secretary Niall McDonough was a keynote speaker at a members meeting of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington DC where he reported on The Ocean Climate Nexus event, the Consensus Statement, and next steps on the road to COP21. Also in Washington DC, in order to carry the Statement’s message on Ocean and Climate to the broader foreign policy and policymaking community, Niall is presenting the Statement and research priorities to the Council on Foreign Relations, the leading U.S. foreign policy organization, during a roundtable on “Oceans & Climate Change: Paris and Beyond”(further information). Press magazine Newsweek made a coverage report.
Presentation at European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) & Safer Seas Conference (27 October, Brest, France)
EMB Chair, Jan Mees, delivered a lecture on "The Ocean-Climate Nexus: key messages of the 5th European Marine Board Forum" at a joint session of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) and Safer Seas as part of a climate change symposium titled “The Future of Science in the 21st Century : Climate change : impacts on the ocean, food production, health and the economy" (link).
Please contact European Marine Board Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.