We need natural solutions to fight ocean and climate risk

ocean

(Jeremy Bishop, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group


For the first time, environmental concerns are the top five global risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. The health of the ocean – or lack of it – is everywhere. 2019 was the hottest year ever recorded for the ocean, capping the hottest decade on record for the planet.

The ocean, which feeds us, regulates our climate and is one of the engines of the global economy, is changing at the fastest rate in human history. Viewing the climate emergency through this ocean risk lens paints a bleak picture, but it also points the way to practical, powerful solutions – because achieving a healthy, thriving, resilient ocean will have huge knock-on benefits for wider climate commitments, not to mention all the Sustainable Development Goals.

As we embark on a new decade we have a unique window of opportunity to disrupt the status quo and shift away from the current pathway of planetary decline. Ending support of unsustainable fishing, agreeing a new high seas treaty, and a new global deal for nature that protects 30 per cent of land and sea – all are achievable. Meeting the SDG 14 targets will help build a heathy ocean, buoy up the global goals on poverty and hunger, jobs and health, and enhance the ocean’s capacity to be a buffer against climate change.

So, what’s to be done? First and foremost, we need to make deep, rapid cuts to global carbon emissions and meet the Paris targets. At the same time, we must invest in nature. Specifically, to reduce ocean risk, we need to massively increase investment in nature-based solutions like protecting and restoring coral reefs, mangroves and coastal wetlands – call it green/blue infrastructure. The business and finance sectors can make a real impact by actively spearheading these initiatives around the world.

No one sector can confront ocean and climate risks alone. Ocean Unite, the charity Virgin Unite incubated and I co-founded, has joined forces with the insurance company AXA and partners from government, the private sector – especially insurance and finance, and civil society – to build a true multi-stakeholder partnership to innovate together. Launched in 2019, with the backing of 13 governments, the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance is pioneering transformative tools like reef insurance, incentivising investments in blue carbon sites like mangroves and sea grass beds, and modelling climate/ocean risk to help inform policy. The ultimate aim is to propel solutions that reduce ocean and coastal risk and contribute to the global goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees.

It’s a goal that everyone should invest in. Governments can be slow to act, but businesses, cities, communities and individuals can lead the charge. Young people have certainly made it clear that they won’t stand for it. It’s time for all of us to protect the most vulnerable from risk, heed the resounding alarm bells issued by scientists, and invest in a fairer, safer, healthier future on land and sea.

A version of this article first appeared on Richard Branson’s blog

Richard Branson is a member of Friends of Ocean Action, a unique group of global leaders who are fast-tracking scalable solutions for a healthy ocean. It is hosted by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the World Resources Institute.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Central Africa: Security Council concerned by ‘grave security situation’, calls for better agency cooperation

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

What Ghana can teach us about integrating refugees

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

Parliament’s proposal to reinforce flagship programmes is worth 39 billion euros

More accessible products and services for disabled and elderly people

Claude Akpokavie, Senior ILO Adviser:“Engaging in policy debates and organizing workers, are two key challenges faced by unions in Export processing zones”

COP25 climate talks: What just happened, and what lies ahead?

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

Peatlands are under threat. Here’s why we must act now to save them

MEPs approve deal on tap water and demand that EU water legislation be respected

Coronavirus Global Response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge supports Venezuela

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Digitalization is changing banking – These 3 trends will help shape its future

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

We need better alignment between climate and trade. Here’s a roadmap

Germany rules the banking industry of Eurozone

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

Taxation: Commission refers Portugal to the Court for discriminatory legislation on car registration tax

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Brexit update: Tusk’s proposal is out and Cameron takes it all

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

New seat projections for the next European Parliament EU28

EU to set up new European Partnerships and invest nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties

Reject passivity and embrace ‘responsibility for our future,’ Lithuania’s President tells UN Assembly

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

JADE Spring Meeting 2017 – day 3: JADE Academy trainings, networking session and gala dinner – Excellence Awards winners revealed

Commission report: EU data protection rules empower citizens and are fit for the digital age

UN chief appeals for calm as Mali presidential election draws to a close

EU humanitarian budget for 2020 to help people in over 80 countries

How we can embrace the electrical vehicle transition by adopting smart charging

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

No agreement in sight on EU budget

‘Address root causes’ of instability in Mali through ‘aid and support’ urges UN chief

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

Trump aims trade offensive solely to China, renews truce with EU

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Climate change and health – can medical students be the solution?

Ηealth’s foundation is falling apart: what can we do about it?

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Facebook changes its terms and clarify its use of data for consumers following discussions with the European Commission and consumer authorities

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

How migrants who send money home have become a global economic force

Hackers can use public USB chargers to steal personal data. Here’s what you need to know about ‘juice jacking’

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s