Ahead of COP 27: Where are we with Ocean action? Almost a year has passed since the world came together for COP 26 in Glasgow. Despite the media frenzy of considering COP 26 a failure, we did see some positive commitments dedicated to protecting our Ocean and a further integration of youth in climate action. But has there been any progress since COP 26? The short answer is – yes and no. We are still gambling our chances of achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2°C goal, let alone the ambitious 1.5°C goal. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) don’t match up to where we need to be. Country pledges at COP 26 would have limited warming to 2.4°C and there has been little progress since. According to findings from the Climate Action Tracker, the current optimistic scenario would limit us to 1.8°C warming, and the word to note here is optimistic. 57 countries don’t have a net-zero target at all and only 19 countries have targets that are enshrined in law. We urgently need legally binding commitments and political will if want to swiftly transition from initiatives -> action. What about the Ocean? Over the past year, more people came together to realise the need for Ocean-based climate action and understood that there is no climate solution without considering the Ocean. Some of the progress made include: Momentum through Ocean Events –Conferences like the UN Ocean Conference and Our Ocean Conference saw further commitments to sustainable fisheries, blue economies, and tackling climate change and marine pollution. The UN Ocean Conference also observed calls for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution at a global level is in development. Updated NDCs inclusion of Ocean actions -Many countries are including the Ocean in their national contributions to the climate agenda. For example, scaling up the marine renewable industry, protecting and restoring blue carbon ecosystems, creating climate-ready fisheries, advancing Ocean-climate justice etc. Emphasis on science-based actions under the UN Ocean Decade – Opportunities for action include:- Improved monitoring of impacts such as Ocean acidification and warming to better protect critical ecosystems like coral- Increased Ocean science support for NDCs and national adaptation plans (NAPs) to identify knowledge gaps and accelerate the development of early warning systems. So, what can we expect from COP 27?