Like us at Ocean Generation, you may have noticed that the Ocean has not exactly taken centre stage at COP26 this year.

Besides setting out our agenda for what a successful COP26 will look like from an Ocean perspective, we’ve also researched and narrowed down the top 10 Ocean-related events at COP26 that we can actually attend online. We've also curated a COP26 Twitter list of all the top journalists, organisations, speakers -anybody who's anybody at COP26 - list that you can also follow. 

We know some people are sceptical about the outcomes of COP26, but should this deter you from knowing what’s going on and from listening in and staying on the ball with the latest conversations?

We thought not!

In chronological order, here’s what’s hot at COP:

1. Climate and the Deep Sea World: Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Global Efforts – A Visual Journey and Panel

When: 01/11/2021

How to listen in: Subscribe to COP26 Youtube Channel

What it’s about: Although seemingly remote, the deep sea plays a key role in our climate. Better understanding of remote and deep-sea biodiversity, offers insight into how these systems both influence the climate and are, in turn, influenced by climate change. These insights are made with the help of new technologies such as Schmidt Ocean Institute’s 4,500 meter capable underwater robot, ROV SuBastian. This two-hour event will feature exclusive, award-winning, video content from deep sea waters showcasing new species and underwater features with interviews from scientists around the world discussing the impact of climate change on these fragile ecosystems. The film will be followed by a panel centered on climate impacts in the deep sea and how we can better understand and mitigate this in order to improve the overall health of our planet. The panel will include Ocean experts focused on high seas, biodiversity and seabed mapping.

2. SBSTA Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue Theme: Strengthening cooperation and collaboration among relevant UN bodies in tackling ocean and climate change.

When: 01/11/2021

How to listen in: COP26 Ocean Pavillion

What it’s about: The roundtable session will explore the need for collective UN and global organisations interventions to build ocean resilience in the face of climate change, using appropriate/sustainable mitigation and adaptation strategies for states and the governance of common ocean goods and services. The key question guiding this session is: How can UN agencies strengthen synergies, facilitate and better integrate climate actions into their strategies and policies? The session will start with few short presentations, exploring concepts around common pool goods and services, systems approaches and the role of UN bodies. It will be followed with 2–3-minute intervention statement from each leading UN agency.

3. Roundtable discussion: The Ocean and Climate Justice: Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation

When: 05/11/2021

How to listen in: Register with Visit Scotland’s Stakeholder Hub

What it’s about:

  1. Climate change, the ocean and human rights: The role of arts in furthering justice for indigenous peoples, small-scale fishers, rural women and children
  2. Political ecology of climate change and indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ customary
  3. Blue Economy Solutions towards Climate Adaptation and Resilience
  4. Multiple Threats from Climate Change and Different Management Scenarios: Visualising and Predicting Deep-sea Species and Habitats
  5. Fisheries under Climate Change: the use of models in assessing impacts and improving adaptation measures

4. Experts Panel: Exploring Law & Policy Strategies & Frameworks to Address Climate Related Ocean Change

When: 05/11/2021

How to listen in: Register on the Eventbrite page

What it’s about: The event will bring marine and climate experts, together to discuss the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on the marine environment and ecosystem services, potential mitigation and adaptation measures. The aim of the event is to identify synergies between the law of the sea and the climate change regimes that could maximise the effectiveness of potential responses to ongoing and significant changes in the marine ecosystems (and their services to humans) from the local to the global levels as a result from climate change. Ocean warming and acidification has been already affecting marine productivity (including fisheries), carbon sink processes, distribution of species, and ocean currents patterns. Some of these changes (or the combination of those) could lead to irreversible tipping points in marine systems and the planet more broadly. Hence, the need for a more integrated approach in interpreting and negotiating decisions under relevant global frameworks regarding oceans, climate and biodiversity.

5. Ocean and Coastal Zones Action Event: Ocean Solutions for a resilient, net-zero future

When: 05/11/2021

How to listen in: Live stream on the UNFCCC webcast page

What it's about: This high level meeting will be the main multi-stakeholder ocean meeting at COP26, gathering Heads of State, local communities, business leaders, UN organisations, scientific institutions and NGO leaders. Hosted by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

    6. Coastal Blue Carbon Panel – The Vital Role of Mangroves for Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation

    When: 06/11/2021

    How to listen in: Subscribe to COP26 Youtube Channel

    What it’s about: This panel will bring together governments, civil society and world renowned scientists from Colombia, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Seychelles and Indonesia for an interactive discussion that will promote south-south knowledge sharing by: Bringing to light the importance of mangroves in the context of global climate breakdown, from the perspective of coastal communities living on the frontline and governments working to ensure their countries’ blue economies are safeguarded Demonstrating how the conservation and restoration of coastal blue carbon can help ensure that countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement are sufficiently ambitious to tackle the climate emergency Explaining how, if the necessary policy and safeguarding frameworks are in place, carbon markets can be leveraged to fund and incentivise sustainable mangrove management and restoration Highlighting some of the policy and implementation barriers that must be tackled if mangrove blue carbon is to reach its full potential, as well as some potential solutions to these barriers.

    7. Everyone’s Claim, Nobody’s Responsibility: Sustainable Ocean Governance

    When: 08/11/2021

    How to listen in: Register on The New York Times Climate Hub

    What it’s about: From high-seas fisheries to deep-ocean minerals, countries and companies are laying claim to ocean resources. How can advances in science, governance and technologies like satellite mapping help us manage open-ocean and deep-ocean resources in sustainable, equitable and low-carbon ways?

    8. Ocean-Climate Stewardship for 1.5°C Ocean and Coastal Zones Action Event: Ocean Solutions for a Resilient, Net-Zero Future

    When: 10/11/2021

    How to listen in: Register with Business Ambition for Climate Action

    What it’s about: Ocean-based climate solutions can contribute up to  one-fifth of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal by 2050. With the vast potential of the ocean to deliver on the climate agenda, the UN Global Compact launched a “Blue Road to COP 26” in March 2021 to advance action in four areas; zero-carbon maritime transport, low-carbon blue food, offshore renewable energy, and nature-based solutions. This session will present some of the key outcomes from the Blue Road, including actions and recommendations for businesses and governments to leverage a climate-smart ocean. Hosted by the United Nations Global Compact. 

    9. Blue Carbon: Beyond the Inventory 

    When: 11/11/2021

    How to listen in: Register with Scottish Blue Carbon Forum

    What it’s about: The Scottish Blue Carbon Forum, in collaboration with Marine Scotland and the University of St Andrews, present this blue carbon conference. The agenda includes a series of plenary sessions and workshops to address scientific and policy-facing issues related to blue carbon. (2-day event)

    10. Children and young people’ human rights to a healthy ocean: their importance for climate change adaptation & mitigation

    When: 12/11/2021

    How to listen in: Register with COP26 Virtual Ocean Pavillion

    What it’s about: The roundtable will bring together youth representatives and researchers from different disciplines on children’ and youth’ views on the values on the ocean and climate change. Our panellists will reflect on the relevance of children’ and young people’s human rights for the protection of the ocean and for climate change adaptation and mitigation. In particular, the event will provide an opportunity to feed into the development of a new UN General Comment on children’s human right to a healthy environment, with a focus on climate change, and the UN Joint Commitment to the Rights of the Child to a Healthy Environment. The event will also include a reflection on different knowledge systems, including indigenous and local knowledge, and questions related to the integration of these different knowledge systems in ocean and climate literacy and education programmes.

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