EU Oceans Day: From science to governance – Reflections on oceans and climate from a EU perspective

Oceanic systems, seas, coastlines and marine resources are affected by a changing climate. At the same time, as carbon sink and 'green' energy provider, they play manifold roles in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. In fulfilling these roles the health of the ocean is pertinent. Ocean acidification and sea-level rise, especially affecting Small Island Development States, are some of the pressures putting future capacity of oceans in fulfilling these roles in question. The legal framework for our oceans and coasts, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – UNCLOS and the UN 2030 Agenda (SDG 13 & 14) address this highly universal need for sustainable ocean governance for development and call for inclusive transregional joint action – integrative action under both the climate change and ocean agendas.

In the European science systems, these discussions have led to increasing calls for more 'co-production' of scientific knowledge, promising to increase the societal uptake and to lead to new and transformative solutions to grand challenges of our times. Integrative ocean-climate action is promoted by a mode of scientific research that respects the requirements of ongoing climate change processes, are context-specific and solution-oriented, assuring that the ocean continues to play the important role as climate regulator that it does until today. Within the context of the European Union and its member states, the conscious nurturing of marine science in and for climate politics thus is of utmost important.

This session will reflect on the European marine science scape in and for climate politics by bringing together science policy and donor representatives from the European Union and selected member states, representatives from the marine science community, an international civil society organisation as well as the UN agency in charge of the recently released Global Ocean Science Report. Based on short high-level expert statements, the existing funding mechanisms, expected scientific output production and key structural challenges in the match of marine sciences for climate politics are discussed. Based on these discussions, a Science Policy Brief will be developed as a contribution to the further development of the European marine science scape for and in climate politics.

09:30 – 10:00 Welcome coffee
10:00 – 11:30 Ocean governance and climate action – a perspective from the EU
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee
11:45 – 13:15 Ocean and Climate and the role of science I: Marine observation, data and information systems
14:15 – 15:45 Oceans, Climate and the Role of Science II: Science and science funding for understanding the ocean-climate nexus
15:45 – 16:00 Coffee
16:00 – 17:00 Oceans and Climate and Science III: From challenges to solutions
17:00 – 17:30 Closing session: Summary of findings of the day and action follow-up
17:30 Social drinks