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19 October 20234 minute read

UNFCCC Climate Change High-Level Champions launch the 2030 Ocean Breakthroughs

On 11 October 2023, the ocean community, united under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, with the support of the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions have launched the “Ocean Breakthroughs”.

The Ocean Breakthroughs are transformative pathways covering five key ocean sectors, where accelerated action and investments could deliver up to 35% of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and contribute to a resilient, nature-positive and net zero future by 2050. These key ocean sectors include: marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food, and coastal tourism. 

The Ocean Breakthroughs are as follows:

UNFCCC Climate Breakthroughs

The Ocean Breakthroughs are supported by several key organisations including the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), Ocean Conservancy, and International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Accelerated action and investments in these critical ocean areas will help to unlock the potential of the ocean economy whilst also presenting solutions to the pressing challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. The financial sector has a key role to play in supporting ocean sustainability and delivering transformative change to ocean economies. Blue finance will play a critical role to help channel funding into the Ocean Breakthroughs. Instruments such as blue bonds, a debt instrument issued to raise money specifically to finance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals related to the ocean, will be crucial to supporting the Ocean Breakthroughs. Innovative ocean financing tools, like a blue bond, can be used to invest in the key sectors identified in the Ocean Breakthroughs to not only deliver climate mitigation and adaptation benefits, but to also further sustainable development.

The launch of the Ocean Breakthroughs coincides with the recent announcement of the global practitioner's guide for bonds to finance the sustainable blue economy (Blue Bond Guidance). You can read more about the Blue Bond Guidance here and here. The Blue Bond Guidance provides much needed support to help scale up investment in blue bonds and build investor confidence. We expect more ocean-related issuances will refer to, and align with, the Blue Bond Guidance, and now, will also align with the Ocean Breakthroughs. The Ocean Breakthroughs can provide clear guidance to issuers and investors of the potential of ocean-based climate solutions.

We hope that the ambitious targets set through the Ocean Breakthroughs will help to channel much needed investment into our oceans, using blue finance as a key mechanism to achieve such investment.

To learn more about the role of sustainable finance in the ocean economy, you can read our article “Shades of blue in financing: Transforming the ocean economy with blue bonds” here.

Should you wish to learn more about blue finance and how it could be an opportunity for your business, please reach out to one of the authors. DLA Piper is a leader in understanding and advising on the challenges and opportunities associated with the impacts of climate change.