This declaration will be signed by the representatives of the countries and interested parties attending the High-level Conference on Climate Change and Oceans Preservation, which will be hosted in Brussels on 19 February 2019. This conference is an initiative of the Belgian ministers Marie Christine Marghem, in charge of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development and Philippe De Backer, in charge of the North Sea.

This text brings together numerous political actions on the themes of the oceans and climate change.

Sustainable development, climate change and ocean biodiversity

The Declaration underlines the importance of scientific information and reports like for example :

It also stresses the critical importance of science-based policy-making and encourages ocean and climate research.

The Declaration:

  • reaffirms the outcomes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (and the related UN Ocean Conference) as well as the “Because the Ocean Declaration”;
  • recognizes the importance of cooperative ocean, climate and biodiversity related actions, both at regional and multilateral level, in fora and conventions (UNEP, UNCLOS, UNBCD, Ramsar…);
  • is committed to the further development by 2020 an international legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS;
  • calls for the duly review of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and for taking its pathways into consideration;
  •  calls on all UNFCCC Parties to join the Oceans Pathway Partnership;-        endorses the Talanoa Call for Action and calls on its implementation;
  • urges all Parties to the Paris Agreement to start preparations of their NDCs to be submitted by 2020.

Ocean energy and marine conservation

The declaration calls on all to develop, adopt and implement the necessary visions, policy plans and strategies regarding cost-effective renewable ocean energy and marine spatial planning, safeguarding the biodiversity, resilience, connectivity and services of marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of local communities in that context.

Climate change and international shipping

The declaration also emphasizes the need to undertake urgent and ambitious emission reductions within the sector of international maritime transport (shipping), in line with the Tony De Brum Declaration. It also urges the International Maritime Organization to adopt and implement measures to significantly reduce GHG emission before 2023 as well as it encourages States, international organizations and the private sector to invest in research and development, deployment of innovative technologies, capacity-building and technical cooperation.