Our oceans provide services that make life on earth possible, such as producing oxygen and storing excess heat and carbon dioxide, thereby slowing the rate of catastrophic warming. Healthy oceans are a crucial component in the global fight against climate change, but only a handful of countries currently include meaningful ocean-based mitigation and adaptation actions in their plans to meet their Paris goals. This Ocean-Climate Guide to Action provides options for addressing this omission.
Long regarded as a leader in climate policy and ocean conservation, the state of California has steadily developed a comprehensive vision of ocean-climate action that could serve as a model to other subnational and national governments seeking to protect the oceans and use their power to combat climate change. This Ocean-Climate Guide to Action is a partial snapshot of California’s efforts to preserve natural carbon stores in marine and coastal habitats, reduce carbon emissions in ocean industries, and protect marine ecosystems and coastal communities from the most severe impacts of climate change. These case studies are meant to introduce nations, states, local governments, and others to a wide variety of tested and effective ocean-climate actions that they might take.