The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Five Opportunities for Action


Ken Caldeira, Thierry Chopin, Steve Gaines, Peter Haugan, Mark Hemer, Jennifer Howard, Manaswita Konar, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Elizabeth Lindstad, Catherine E. Lovelock, Mark Michelin, Finn Gunnar Nielsen, Eliza Northrop, Robert Parker, Joyashree Roy, Tristan Smith, Shreya Some, and Peter Tyedmers

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Hoegh-Guldberg. O., et al. 2019. ‘‘The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Five Opportunities for Action.’’ Report. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at


This HLP report provides a timely pivot from ‘problem’ to a significant missing piece of the ‘solution’. Heretofore, climate mitigation policy has concentrated intensively on land-based mitigation activities. The HLP report offers the first comprehensive, integrated assessment of the mitigation potential of a suite of ocean-based activities: renewable energy, transport, food production, and ecosystems, and the potential future contribution from carbon storage if current concerns can be resolved. Each of these five areas is assessed for its potential to close the emissions gap in 2030 and 2050 relative to a 1.5°C degree and 2°C degree pathway. Moreover, each activity is also evaluated for its wider benefits to society (beyond mitigation). Finally, the report highlights the enabling policy measures and research required for success.

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