Chile has announced the “Platform for Ocean Solutions” at the ongoing COP25 in Madrid, Spain.
The conference president, Carolina Schmidt, joined by Prince Albert II of Monaco, unveiled the details of the online portal that will bring together the necessary information for oceans to be included in countries’ NDCs.
“We have named COP25 the Blue COP, because for the first time we’ve positioned the study, protection and sustainable management of oceans within a major climate action conference, and this is due to the moment we’re now living, in which the science has demonstrated unequivocally that the commitments made by countries to date are not sufficient,” said Schmidt.
In her inaugural speech on Monday, December 2, 2019, Chile’s Environment Minister announced the launch of a new platform for science-based climate solutions for the ocean. Solutions for the Ocean is a Chilean initiative to galvanise the Blue COP, which seeks to carve out a new space to unite the community of ocean and climate experts.
“Today, we are designing the structure for support of administration and management. This is crucial to make sure that the platform is a dynamic space and not only a repository of knowledge,” explained Schmidt on Tuesday at the conference, accompanied by the Chilean Minister for Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Andrés Couve, as well as the Chief of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), Paul Watkinson, and the Prince Alberto II of Monaco.
The Prince himself highlighted Chile’s work on ocean protection. “That is why Chile, like the Principality of Monaco, has for many years sought to ensure that the ocean issue be given the central role it ought to have at these negotiations, in particular by launching together, at COP21 in Paris, the Because The Ocean initiative, which has worked to highlight ocean solutions,” he commented.
The website will bring together the key tools and methodologies to incorporate oceans within countries’ NDCs and other climate policies. Solutions for the Ocean will be formally launched in June at the United Nations Conference on Oceans.
“It is especially important for Chile to take action and protect the ocean from the adverse consequences of climate change, because it is part of our national identity, and we believe that by building spaces to enhance national climate policies, it is also an act of justice for the people, because – unfortunately – climate change affects society unevenly, and we deserve a more just, equal and sustainable country”.
In the Chiloé conference hall, the World Meteorological Organiaation (WMO) announced its latest annual report on the state of the climate, which noted that “2019 marks the end of a decade of exceptional warming globally, loss of ice cover and record sea-level rise driven by the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity.”
Reacting, the COP25 President asserted: “We must make progress faster. The commitments made by countries in 2015 are plainly insufficient; we must change course, have more ambitious commitments and, most importantly, this must be a process of transformation. The Science has been very clear: it has said that we have to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and therefore we have to move the needle and reach those commitments within the NDC process, which is due to be enhanced in 2020.
“New commitments must be made with increased ambition and one way of increasing this is to universalise climate action, for example, by incorporating oceans, as Chile is proposing for the first time at this COP.”