In the final decision of COP25, Parties mandated the Chair of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to hold a dialogue on strengthening action on the oceans and climate change, originally scheduled to take place this week. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to inflict immeasurable suffering in communities around the world and prevent in-person meetings, the 52nd meeting of the subsidiary bodies to the UNFCCC (SB52) and the SBSTA Chair’s dialogue have been postponed until October. Instead, this past week, Parties and Observers to the UNFCCC assembled virtually from around the world for the week of June Momentum for Climate Change, while the UNFCCC works to find new ways to maintain momentum on climate ambition even during these unprecedented times.
This week still marks a critical time for increasing ambition among Parties on the oceans and climate change. Parties and Observers were invited to submit views to the SBSTA Chair in anticipation of the dialogue; the UNFCCC received fourteen Party submissions and twenty-eight Observer organization submissions by the March 31, 2020 deadline. The Carbon Institute, in partnership with Youth4Nature, is excited to share views submitted for the dialogue with the international climate policy community.
The Carbon Institute and Youth4Nature together believe that there are viable, actionable, and politically realistic policy options to ensure that the COP can comprehensively address the ocean-climate nexus. Bodies within the UNFCCC have made incremental and significant progress on the inclusion of oceans and coastal zones, but the urgency and scope of the climate change impacts on the oceans demands dedicated and thorough action and investment from the UNFCCC to protect marine environments, coastal zones, biodiversity, people, and economies. In our submission, we express our views on the scientific urgency of deep and comprehensive action at the ocean-climate nexus, the UNFCCC political context and ongoing activities related to the oceans and climate change, and thematic priorities for action by the UNFCCC. We also urge the oceans and climate change dialogue to explore procedural pathways to minimize consensus-related gridlock in negotiations.
Furthermore, we draw attention to the critical need to engage youth, indigenous, and marginalized stakeholders and amplify those voices throughout all UNFCCC processes to ensure equitable, just, and responsive outcomes. Transparent, accessible, meaningful, and inclusive participation of these communities at all the stages of policymaking, program delivery, and project implementation is of paramount importance.
While the SBSTA Chair’s dialogue will not take place until October, it is critical for Parties and Observers during the June Momentum for Climate Change to consider the ocean-climate nexus in ongoing conversations and begin the necessary preparations for this dialogue. The Carbon Institute and Youth4Nature welcome engagement and feedback from UNFCCC Parties and Observers on this submission of views.
Read our submission of views below.