Image caption: The Opening Ceremony for the COP27 Ocean Pavilion on November 7 featuring (left to right) WHOI PhD student Mariya Galochkina; WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal; Ashok Adicéam, Global Public Affairs, Ocean, Nature and People, France; Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean; Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State, US Department of State; Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director of the Marine Policy Center at WHOI; and Michelle Guraieb, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.
The Ocean Pavilion, led by a group of the world’s leading ocean science and philanthropic organizations, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) , has released its schedule of events for the upcoming 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The Ocean Pavilion represents the first time the ocean has been a singular focus of a pavilion inside the central “Blue Zone.” It will host approximately 60 sessions over the two-week period from Nov. 6-18. Topics and discussions will highlight the crucial importance of the ocean to Earth’s climate, and to efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change in the safest, most effective ways science can offer.
“The ocean plays an enormous role in our climate - it takes up 93 percent of heat and absorbs nearly one-third of the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere,” says Margaret Leinen, director of Scripps Oceanography at UC San Diego. “It’s vital that globally we prioritize observing the ocean and develop policy to ensure the ocean is protected. That will lead to greater understanding of the stability in our oceans' role in climate, and inform mitigation efforts.”
In addition to hosted sessions, the Ocean Pavilion will provide a focal point for events and discussions aimed at making the ocean more central to climate negotiations and informing delegates about the potential of the ocean to support climate solutions.
“We are looking forward to productive and informative sessions over the next two weeks,” said WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal. “It’s only natural that the ocean should also be at the center of discussions about the sustainability of human activity on Earth, including how it can help stabilize the global climate system at a safe level."
The full schedule can be viewed here. Select highlighted sessions include:
Tuesday, November 8, 10:30 a.m.: Averting Climate Disaster: How Ocean Science and Tech Can Help Close the Global Emissions Gap
The ocean is changing faster now than at any time in human history. To manage this change and put society on a path towards a sustainable climate future, we need to open a new era of large-scale ocean measurement and monitoring aimed at enabling climate action. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution President and Director Peter de Menocal will present a sweeping vision for an international effort to understand and unlock the full potential of our planet’s life-support system. Led WHOI’s President and Director, Peter de Menocal.
Wednesday, November 9 at 15:00: Climate Change in the Mediterranean Area: Challenges, Impacts and Solutions
Led by the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries-Egypt, this panel will discuss those challenges that shall be tackled together, as recently declared that the 42 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, endorsed recently a ministerial declaration that seeks to exploit the potential of research and innovation to increase the resilience of the Mediterranean region against environmental, food security and socioeconomic challenges, as well as to promote science diplomacy. This will reinforce the dialogue between the policymakers and scientific community.
Thursday, November 10 at 16:30: Ocean observations for climate change: From local observations
The vision to build the global ocean observing system is a bold, urgent, and achievable step that we can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It is the only way to truly understand whether and for how long the ocean will absorb carbon, and thus protect the planet from the disastrous effects of climate change. Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean, GEOMAR, INVEMAR and others will present a variety of perspectives on ocean observing, from coastal to open ocean and from high latitudes to the tropics and discuss collaboration towards our common vision. to a global system
Thursday, November 10 at 18:00: Emerging Leaders in Ocean Policy and Science in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
This event brings together a diverse set of recognized SIDS youth leaders and ocean scientists to propose and discuss adaptable policy and science frameworks for global implementation. Drawing on their experiences in indigenous policy and resource management, marine science, emergent technology, sustainable energy, and carbon markets, the panelists will also discuss island innovation ecosystems and transformative community impact in the ocean space. The event features speakers from the Government of Palau, Pacific Climate Warriors, Special Envoy Office for Climate Change of the Maldives, Gender CC, as well as Scripps Oceanography and WHOI.
Saturday, November 12 at 10:30 a.m.: Ocean Change - Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities and Challenges,
This side event will provide a platform to explore the opportunities & challenges for nations and stakeholders related to observing and understanding ocean change; local & regional adaptation mechanisms to a rapidly changing ocean; including the conservation and restoration of carbon rich ecosystems, the safe implementation of ocean carbon dioxide removal technologies; and climate smart ocean management for supporting sustainable development and protecting ocean life and those that depend on it. Led by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Monday, November 14 at 13:30.: Ocean Science Community Leaders Forum: Science Priorities to Inform Future COPs,
A gathering of the leaders of the world’s top ocean research institutions will consider the future of the oceans. Margaret Leinen will be joined by counterparts from the National Oceanography Centre in England and the American Geophysical Union. The leaders will discuss science priorities, the role improved ocean observing technology can play in improving the sustainability of ocean systems, and what they hope will come from COP27 and future COPs. Led by Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego
Wednesday, November 16 at 10:30 a.m.: Blue Climate Solutions: Considering the ocean’s role in our path to net negative emissions
Every path to a sustainable climate future must pass through the ocean. Scientists and policy leaders from WHOI, Scripps, Ocean Visions and World Resources Institute will discuss the scientific basis for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches to complement deep emissions reductions, as well as the research agenda, governance structure, investment needs, and ethical framework necessary to ensure a sustainable climate future for all.
The Ocean Pavilion is located in Area B, Building 8, pavilion P31.
For a complete schedule of Ocean Pavilion events, visit the schedule page. For those attending in person, it’s recommended to download the Ocean Pavilion COP27 app for scheduling and networking with the Ocean Pavilion delegation, and sign up for the daily COP27 Ocean Pavilion newsletter.
For additional information about the Ocean Pavilion and its partners, visit OceanPavilion-cop.org.