To limit global warming to 1.5°C, it is necessary to make a rapid and profound transformation of our society on an unprecedented scale, particularly in the energy sector. Renewable energies play a key role in this respect, by contributing to the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. According to the latest IPCC Special Report (SR 1.5), by 2050 renewable energies should provide 52-67% of primary energy to achieve 1.5°C pathways with no or limited overshoot. The share of electricity supplied by renewable sources will have to increase from 23% in 2015 to 59-97% by 2050.

A vast majority of Parties to the Paris Agreement have already included in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) a number of energy objectives or measures. However, it is clear that these measures are insufficient to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It has therefore been planned that these Parties will submit new, more ambitious NDCs by 2020. The 2019 UN Climate Summit will be an opportunity to present the results of these reflections. In parallel with these NDCs, Parties are also invited to submit by 2020 long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies by the middle of the century.

Today, offshore wind energy already plays an important place in the energy mix and this share is expected to continue growing. Other forms of ocean energy, such as that provided by waves, tides and currents, still have great potential for development. However, their impacts on ecosystems are not yet well defined and raise many regulatory, financial and ecological concerns. Such uncertainties are already being dealt with in marine long term policy plans and strategies, marine spatial plans and related policies and measures, but often in isolation from climate action.

In this working group, the experts will consider the following questions, among others:

  • To what extent can ocean energy contribute to delivering on the Paris Agreement goals?
  • How can these energies be developed while preserving marine ecosystems?
  • What role should the updated NDCs play? What is their link with marine spatial planning?
  • What (inter)national policy and regulatory initiatives are needed to provide investors with the certainty needed?