COP26 event: Funding the Sustainable Blue Economy

Presented by

Dennis Fritsch, Sustainable Blue Finance Lead, UNEP FI

About this talk

To keep 1.5 degrees within reach, we need a healthy ocean. As the earth’s largest natural carbon sink, the ocean has already absorbed 1/3 of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions since the 1980s - however this has come at a cost, leading to rising acidification, warming and damage to this critical ecosystem. The ocean is at the nexus of the triple planetary crises; climate change, nature loss and pollution, but it’s time that the ocean was seen not as part of the problem, but as part of the solution. A healthy ocean means an oxygenated planet. It means abundant marine life and food security for billions of people. It means a functioning carbon sink to help sequester greenhouse gasses, even as our economies transition to a low-emissions energy future. By ensuring human activities which directly impact and depend on the ocean are sustainable, we can rebuild ocean prosperity and restore biodiversity. Activities such as shipping, fishing, coastal tourism, ports, marine renewable energy and more – need to rapidly transition into a sustainable blue economy, which remains exceptionally underfunded. This session focuses on how we can mobilise both public and private financial flows from banks, insurers and investors, towards a sustainable ocean industry that offers an immense potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation, using key frameworks and initiatives, including the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles - to rebuild, renew and replenish the ocean - for people and planet. Speakers: - Mr Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean - Ms Gabriella Kossmann, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation - Mr Justin Mundy, Strategic Advisor, Willis Towers Watson. Chairman, SLM Partners - Ms Piera Tortora, Coordinator of Sustainable Ocean for All Initiative, OECD - Mr Chip Cunliffe, Biodiversity Director, AXA XL - Ms Louise Heaps, Head of Sustainable Blue Economy, WWF

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United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between United Nations Environment and the global financial sector created in the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit with a mission to promote sustainable finance. More than 240 financial institutions, including banks, insurers, and investors, work with UN Environment to understand today’s environmental, social and governance challenges, why they matter to finance, and how to actively participate in addressing them. UNEP FI’s work also includes a strong focus on policy – by facilitating country-level dialogues between finance practitioners, supervisors, regulators and policy-makers, and, at the international level, by promoting financial sector involvement in processes such as the global climate negotiations.