5. Why are the oceans the main theme of COP27?
Just as the Amazon jungle is the terrestrial lung of the planet, the oceans are the aquatic lungs of the Earth. The oceans play a vital role in cleaning the atmosphere, since they act as huge carbon sinks. This means that the oceans absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide, through the process of photosynthesis, carried out by plant organisms suspended in the water.
Climate change is gradually reducing the amount of oxygen in the seas and oceans, affecting the life that develops in their waters. As a consequence, its capacity to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere decreases. We extend this information in our Frequently Asked Questions about the oceans.
Due to this important role, the UN considered dedicating COP27 to the oceans. At a June 2022 event on oceans, the Agency released a new report highlighting “the vital importance of the ocean for livelihoods and biodiversity. In addition, it is recognized as a fundamental component of the climate system, and the need for greater ocean-related climate action at COP27 is highlighted.”
The report urges governments to “promote clear, long-term policy frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including from offshore renewable energy and reduced emissions from shipping.”
The above-mentioned Report, entitled Dialogue on the Oceans and Climate Change, presents ten key messages for governments to considered on the road to COP27. These set out the opportunities for “increased ocean climate ambition and action at national and international levels”.
In this link you can see The ten messages about the oceans.