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Join UNESCO's IOC at the Climate COP26 (Glasgow)

Date: 26 October 2021

The Climate COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow.

IOC at COP26

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is at the forefront of climate science and knowledge that inform and underpin meaningful actions to counteract climate change. At COP26 the IOC will present its latest advances in the work on climate, highlighting the following programmatic domains: 

Ocean Decade

Leading the implementation of the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030), with its main mission to generate transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean. The Decade provides a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to create a new foundation for the scientific community, governments, civil society, and the UN system to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity.

Climate Research 

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) – an endeavor of IOC, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Science Council (ISC) – acts as an authoritative international platform to craft and implement the next generation of the research agenda on climate and climate change. WCRP is also responsible for developing the models on which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bases its scenarios and, therefore, negotiations and decisions on climate change are based.

Ocean Acidification

IOC conducts work on the effects of CO2 emissions on ocean acidification and acts as a custodian agency for SDG Target Indicator 14.3.1 on average marine acidity.

Blue Carbon

IOC co-coordinates the Blue Carbon Initiative with Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and co-coordinates the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC) with the Australian Government, supporting global efforts to protect, restore and sustainably manage coastal blue carbon ecosystems – contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity, ocean economies and livelihoods of coastal communities. 

Marine Spatial Planning

IOC supports its Member States to develop and implement Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which is a public process that aims to achieve ecological, social and economic objectives through multi-stakeholder dialogues and transdisciplinary knowledge. Its new international guide on MSP - jointly developed with the European Commission - highlights the need of MSP plans to adopt a ‘climate-smart MSP’ approach that includes objectives related to climate change responses, as well as uses data and knowledge about climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and human uses to develop resilient scenarios for the maritime domain. Within this context, IOC has supported the UN Global Compact (UNGC) initiative of developing a ‘Roadmap to Integrate Offshore Renewable Energy in a Climate-Smart Marine Spatial Plan.’

Ocean Carbon

IOC hosts the IOC Working Group on Integrated Ocean Carbon Research (IOC-R), bringing together experts from five international programmes on ocean-climate interaction: IOCCP, IMBeR, SOLAS, WCRP/CLIVAR and the Global Carbon Project. The group has recently published a synthesis of the state of knowledge about the ocean’s role in the carbon cycle and proposed an innovative joint programme of medium- and long-term integrated ocean carbon research to fill the knowledge gaps in this field. Ocean Observations

IOC, WMO, the International Science Council (ISC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) co-sponsor the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), which provides an increasingly comprehensive platform to integrated in situ and remote observations of the status of the world ocean and climate and climate change.

Ocean Hazards

The IOC portfolio of activities on early warning systems of tsunami events and other ocean hazards entails inter alia systematic observations of sea level and changes therein, which is of direct relevance to vulnerability and risks of coastal communities and ecosystems related to the effects of climate change.

Ocean Deoxygenation 

IOC hosts the Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE), which aims at providing a global and multidisciplinary view of ocean deoxygenation, with a focus on understanding its multiple aspects and impacts. The Network’s aim is to improve observation systems, identify and fill knowledge gaps, as well as to develop and implement capacity building activities worldwide. GO2NE’s communication efforts include a website providing the latest information on deoxygenation to scientists, stakeholders and the interested public, and a monthly webinar, which offers the possibility to listen to two scientists (one junior and one senior) presenting the underlying mechanisms and impacts of ocean deoxygenation.

The COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion

The COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion is dedicated to showcase why the ocean matters in climate negotiations and to all life on our planet. It aims to increase knowledge, commitment and action for the ocean-climate nexus at the UN Climate Conference (COP26).

This pavilion will highlight important ocean events, host panel sessions and provide a gateway to ocean and climate stories from around the world through virtual exhibits, on-demand videos, reports and other online resources.

Being at the forefront of climate science and knowledge that inform and underpin meaningful actions to counteract climate change, the IOC will be showcasing its work and  latest activities via virtual booth open for attendees. A series of live ocean events will take place in the COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavillion throughout the period of the COP26.

Join us at COP26 to highlight the important role of ocean sciences in unlocking climate action!

See below a list of key IOC events during the summit:

*All times in GMT

1 November 

(9-10 AM) Live event: The Ocean in SBSTA  - Virtual Ocean Pavilion

3 November 

(9-10 AM) Inclusive Ocean Acidification Action – Science to Society - Commonwealth Pavilion

(9-10.15 AM) Ocean Decade - generating critical ocean knowledge for climate action -  SDG Pavilion 

Watch the event recording 

(10 AM - 1 PM) Earth Information Day - Pavilion TBC

Watch the event recording

5 November 

(9-11AM) Live Event: Ocean & Adaptation, Resilience, and Mitigation: Creating and implementing the enabling conditions for action through science, capacity building, and other cross-cutting approaches - Virtual Ocean Pavilion 

(11.30 AM- 1.00 PM) Launch Event: Roadmap to Integrate Clean Offshore Renewable Energy into Climate-Smart Marine Spatial Planning - Wind Pavilion

(3-3.40 PM) Roundtable on the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) Ocean & Climate Change Dialogue. Theme: Strengthening cooperation and collaboration among relevant UN bodies in tackling ocean and climate change - Virtual Ocean Pavilion 

(2.30-4.15 PM) Ocean Action Day:  A healthy and productive ocean for a resilient, nature positive, and net-zero future. Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action - Action Room 1, Blue Zone

6 November 

(10.30 AM -12.00 PM) The Ocean Decade: creating climate action in the Asia Pacific - Japanese Pavilion

Watch live here

(11.30 AM -12.45PM) Mobilizing ocean and climate action at all levels for increased climate ambition - Loch Lomond

(1.00 - 2.00 PM) International Partnership for Blue Carbon: Working together to deliver outcomes for climate, the environment and people - Australian Pavilion

(2.30 PM) Unlocking investment in ocean science for climate action in the context of the Ocean Decade - Moroccan Pavilion

8 November 

(9.00 - 10.30 AM) Raising ambition at COP26 to deliver SDG14.3 to minimise and address the impacts of ocean acidification - Commonwealth Pavilion

(10.05 AM) Sustainable Innovation Forum - Pavilion TBC

(12 PM- 1 PM) Blue Carbon Conservation and Restoration in Action: Examples from the Commonwealth - Commonwealth Pavilion

9 November 

(11.45 AM-13.00 PM) Expanding ocean acidification observing capacity to take action - SDG Pavilion

Watch live here 

11 November

(4.45 - 6 PM) UN Oceans Side Event - South Downs (Multimedia studio 1)

Watch live here

12 November

(3-4.30 PM)  COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavilion Closing Event: Working Together For Our Incredible Blue Planet

Cover picture credit: The Ocean Agency/Ocean Image bank