The Center for the Blue Economy has partnered with Blue Frontier to bring together thought leaders from across industry, government, academia, and the conservation community with a goal of crafting the Ocean Climate Action Plan or OCAP (final draft available here). The plan, with its growing support, will provide the template for some of the first ocean climate legislation and policy actions in U.S. history, beginning in 2021.
PRESS RELEASE--FINAL OCAP REPORT
MONTEREY, CA — July 13, 2020
Adds Missing Pieces to House Climate Change Framework
The Center for the Blue Economy and Blue Frontier just issued a unique, comprehensive, Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP)—the Blue New Deal—offering a cure for the battered post-pandemic economy and solutions for the climate emergency. Many of these recommendations appear in the new Democratic climate plan, however, OCAP adds additional and practical solution-oriented proposals that go beyond the current Democratic thinking. If the recommendations become federal ocean-climate legislation, it will be a first for the nation, as well as for MIIS and Middlebury.
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OCAP has two main objectives:
- To use ocean and coastal resources to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and
- To help coastal communities to equitably adapt to climate change impacts.
The policy recommendations developed can also be used as a template for state legislation in large coastal states, such as California, Florida, Alaska, and Louisiana. The Center for the Blue Economy and Blue Frontier have acted as convenors for a diversity of stakeholders in this collaborative, nonpartisan effort. Time is running out to mitigate the worst aspects of climate change. There is an urgent need to put in place sensible policies to ensure continued prosperity in the coastal regions, which are ground zero for climate impacts.
There are four parts of the plan:
- Financing & Coastal Adaptation (Financing mechanisms for coastal adaptation, in the context of social justice)
- Offshore Renewable Energy (The challenges facing offshore clean energy and onshore links, including ocean zoning)
- Ports & the Maritime Sector (Greening ports and shipping and decarbonizing other maritime industries.)
- Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Marine Biodiversity Conservation (Climate adaptation solutions in fisheries and aquaculture, including adaptive MPAs)
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#OceanClimateAction #BlueNewDeal, #ClimateCrisis #ClimateReality #VoteOcean
Ocean Climate Action Plan Background & Next Steps:
On March 13th, 2019, David Helvarg of the Blue Frontier and Jason Scorse of the Center for the Blue Economy wrote “Putting the Blue in the Green New Deal,” an opinion piece in the scientific magazine Mongabay. The two ocean-focused non-profit organizations realized that they were uniquely positioned to act as conveners who could bring together thought leaders to refine and expand the initial ideas into the Ocean Climate Action Plan. A meeting of California leaders was convened on October 18th—more about that meeting can be found here: The Ocean Climate Action Summit—California Meeting.
On January 13th, 2020, the first consensus draft of the Ocean Climate Action Plan was released (based on comments from our Oct.18 meeting in California). After a comment period, the second draft was released on March 12th, 2020.
On Wednesday, April 29th, 2020, the two organizations hosted a webinar that looked in depth at the issues addressed by the Ocean Climate Action Plan. After introductory remarks by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Congresswoman Deb Haaland of New Mexico, Congressman Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, and Ms. Franceska De Oro, youth activist from Guam, we spent one hour on each of the four parts of the plan. (Full webinar video and guide to sections and speakers above). The final plan took into consideration the 100 questions asked during the webinar, and we encouraged the public to give further feedback on Draft #2 of the Ocean Climate Action Plan.
The final draft of the Ocean Climate Action Plan was published on July 13th, 2020. Now begins the process of translating the final recommendations into legislative and policy language at the state and federal levels. We plan to hold smaller sessions with key experts and stakeholders across the issue areas in crafting this language. We will also continue to build the broad coalition and constituency needed to support ocean climate bills in the U.S. Congress. This will include a media campaign, opinion pieces, and your support spreading the message from sea to shining sea.
Our goal is strong local and federal ocean-climate policy signed into law as soon as possible. The climate emergency is an ocean emergency. There is no time to waste.
Elizabeth Warren’s Blue New Deal
Many people have inquired whether the Center for the Blue Economy or Blue Frontier had any hand in Warrens’ Blue New Deal proposal, given how closely it resembles the Ocean Climate Action Plan framework. The answer is no. No one in the Warren camp consulted with our organizations. We are of course pleased that the Senator and former Presidential candidate have taken on this issue, raising its profile. But this work goes beyond any single politician or party. The OCAP process is a bottom-up nonpartisan coalition-building effort that will take many months (and likely years) to achieve its goals. Public support is crucial to build and sustain this effort. If you have any questions or comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions and suggestions, please contact the Ocean Climate Action Plan (Blue New Deal) co-organizers:
Director of the Center for the Blue Economy
Author and Executive Director of Blue Frontier
Program Manager, Center for the Blue Economy