The World Trade Organisation expects global trade to fall by up to a third in 2020 as covid-19 disrupts supply chains, economic activity and life around the world. The effects on the ocean economy are profound. On May 12th I moderated a World Ocean Initiative webinar to discuss the prospects for the post-coronavirus ocean economy.
With the world battling the coronavirus pandemic, everyone’s first thoughts are for their families and loved ones. I hope all readers are staying safe in these challenging times. The crisis is also having an impact on something else that we all care about—the ocean.
Building a sustainable ocean economy requires brave pioneers and ocean protectors. This month the World Ocean Initiative launched a new season of The Protectors film series and called for nominations for the World Ocean Tech and Innovation Summit.
Climate change, plastic pollution and ecosystem destruction—the ocean faces many risks. Homes, businesses and investments are threatened by extreme weather, exposure to toxic chemicals and loss of resources. Innovation in ocean-based sectors can provide solutions to these problems, turning risks into opportunities.
The ocean makes a large and growing contribution to the global economy. Yet the ocean economy is a long way from becoming a truly sustainable “blue” economy. To achieve this transformation, huge quantities of capital are required to meet challenges such as restoring coastal ecosystems, developing low-carbon shipping fuels and boosting sustainable seafood.
Ocean temperatures reached their highest level ever recorded in 2019. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum's top five risks for 2020 (released ahead of Davos) are all climate-related. I was interviewed on TRT World to discuss how the ocean can provide both climate risks and opportunities.
Safeguarding and harnessing the ocean’s ability to provide for people and the planet is crucial for sustainable development. The year 2020 could be the year in which the world starts to realise that its prosperity depends on building a new—truly blue—ocean agenda.
Weary delegates to last week’s COP25 climate talks have arrived back home to digest the outcome for ocean sustainability and the blue economy. The conference discussed in some depth how the ocean can help to address climate change.
November 21st marks World Fisheries Day. Total world fish production is expected to reach 201m tonnes by 2030—a growth of 18% from 2016. Yet one third of global fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Carbon emissions from shipping account for almost 3% of global emissions, a larger percentage than Germany. When the International Maritime Organisation met in London in November I was interviewed by BBC News on the need for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector.