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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement29 October 2021Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

COP-26: EU Ocean Day highlights role of oceans in tackling climate change

Red gorgonian soft coral, Paramuricea clavata, Cap de Creus, Costa Brava, Spain © damedias / Adobe Stock
Red gorgonian soft coral, Paramuricea clavata, Cap de Creus, Costa Brava, Spain © damedias / Adobe Stock

The ocean is a key enabler of life on Earth, producing 50% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, absorbing about 25% of human-produced carbon dioxide emissions and 90% of excess heat in the climate system, and regulating the global climate. The ocean has greatly slowed the rate of climate change but also been among its  first victim: 14% of coral reefs are gone, the Arctic has lost an ice area about six times the size of Germany over the last 40 years, and marine species are disappearing from their habitat at twice the rate of those on land.

To underline the importance of the nexus between the ocean and climate change, the EU has called for the third edition of the EU Ocean Day at COP26 in presence of Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and Teresa Ribera, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge from Spain.

The event will take place in Glasgow in a hybrid format on 9 November from 9.30 to 10.30 (Brussels time) and is co-organised  with the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD), the Ocean and Climate Platform and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML).

This event follows up on the commitment of convening a dedicated Dialogue on Ocean and Climate Change, taken at the Blue COP (COP25). It draws on the recently adopted Arctic Joint Communication as well as ongoing EU action for the ocean, including the Biodiversity Strategy 2030, the designation of new large-scale Antarctic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs); the Strategy for Adaptation, and the new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU to support climate adaptation and coastal resilience. And it is not about remedial action only: The European Union has set its Paris Agreement target of climate neutrality by 2050 into law, while it aims reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 with the “Fit for 55” package”.

Follow the event live on 9 November, 9:30-10:30

More information

Programme of the European Union side events at COP26

EU Ocean Day at COP 26 - 9 November - Agenda
(5.89 MB - PDF)



Publication date
29 October 2021
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries