A sustainable ocean economy in 2030: Opportunities and challenges

The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative has published a new report highlighting economic and environmental benefits that ocean industries should aspire to achieve by 2030. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, governments are considering how best to stimulate economic recovery. The experts we speak to say that sustainable ocean industries and businesses can make an important contribution towards creating jobs and growth, while boosting ocean health.

A summary video of the study is below:

Drawing on data from sources including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Global Maritime Forum and the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, as well as in-depth interviews with dozens of experts in government, business, finance and conservation, this report examines nine challenges facing key sectors in the ocean economy. Nine challenges that can be turned into opportunities:

  1. The ocean economy and covid-19: Support for a sustainable ocean economy can help create jobs and growth while protecting the environment and reducing the impacts of climate change.
  2. Financing ocean sustainability: Investors must channel capital away from damaging activities and towards opportunities that enhance ocean health.
  3. Data and technology: Information technology can help policymakers, businesses and investors sustainably manage marine ecosystems.
  4. Sustainable seafood: Aquaculture can help feed a growing population, but it must first tackle its own sustainability challenges.
  5. Zero-carbon shipping: Decarbonising shipping is a trillion-dollar investment opportunity that could help transform the energy market.
  6. Ocean renewables: Offshore wind energy is set for rapid growth while wave and tidal energy need to reduce their technology costs to become competitive.
  7. Coastal and marine tourism: A clean and healthy ocean is tourism’s greatest asset—the industry must do more to protect it.
  8. Plastic: Creating a circular economy for plastic can help end marine plastic pollution.
  9. Climate change mitigation and resilience: Restoring coastal ecosystems can reduce carbon and support coastal communities.

To download a copy of A sustainable ocean economy in 2030: Opportunities and challenges, visit the report website: woi.economist.com/2030.

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