Blue Climate March

Week of actions: 27 June to 1 July
Blue Climate March: 29 June | 6pm | Parque das Nações, Lisbon

Facebook event, here.

Call to action

The ocean can help to put out the flames which are setting our house on fire. However, if we don’t act NOW, it too will be in danger. We therefore call on activists from all over the world for a march dressed in blue in which we want to see recognized the intrinsic link between the conservation of marine ecosystems and the fight against the climate crisis.

The problem

At a time when we are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, the profound climate crisis deepens each day, and new crises threaten to further aggravate its impacts, exposing the weaknesses of the current system and leaving millions on the brink of unemployment, precariousness, and poverty. We know that the solution to the climate crisis requires a fair energy transition that puts an end to the use of fossil fuels, that reconfigures the means of production and consumption patterns, that guarantees energy sovereignty and productive democracy, and that creates dignified jobs, allowing the employment of hundreds of thousands of people in public services that generate common benefits. However, our governments and big companies continue to prioritize profit and perpetuate the degradation of ecosystems that are crucial to our future. In the face of this, we cannot sit and watch!

The ocean covers almost ¾ of the planet, but we are just beginning to understand its ecosystems and the impacts they have on our lives. The marine environment generates up to 2/3 of the ecosystem services provided by nature, produces half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs between 30 to 50% of the carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels. In addition, it is estimated that up to three billion people depend on the ocean for their livelihood, the vast majority of these living in developing countries.

All the crises and multiple tipping points we face have continuity and repercussions on the seas and all their biotopes – from the abyssal depths to the ice of the polar regions, passing through the tropical coral atolls – as well as on all the people who depend on them for food, to breathe, to thrive and to find well-being. If, on the one hand, we know that the marine environment and all the populations and activities that depend on it are particularly vulnerable, on the other hand, we know that the good environmental status of the ocean will be essential for dealing with climate change, as recognized by the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

A blue solution

If the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems, namely forests, and the end of the use of fossil fuels are widely recognized as ways to fight the climate crisis, the ocean and its various ecosystems and services are still not recognized as such. Thus, we want to gather in Lisbon activists, movements and citizens from all over the world to demonstrate something very simple: to save the ocean is to save the climate!
A healthy, resilient and well-governed ocean is an essential contribution to reverse the climate crisis and ensure a fair energy and social transition and a decent standard of living for all the inhabitants of the planet. It is also across the ocean that we can begin to end the political and economic system built on inequality and injustice. It never hurts to remember: the ocean belongs to and benefits all humanity!

2nd United Nations Ocean Conference

Lisbon will host, between June 27 and July 1, the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference, co-organized by the Governments of Portugal and Kenya. Under the motto “Save the ocean, protect the future”, the conference is dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 14 – “Protect life under water” –, therefore having the eyes of the 193 States of the UN set in Lisbon .
This conference presents itself as crucial, at a time when we demand ambitious, courageous commitments that respond effectively to the crisis caused by the climate and biodiversity emergency. Many countries have publicly positioned themselves in recent years at the forefront of marine conservation and it is now more necessary than ever for words to give way to action.

During the week of June 27 to July 1, join us for a week of actions during the UN Ocean Conference and, on June 29 at 6:00pm in Parque das Nações, for the Blue Climate March! Let’s make it heard in Lisbon and around the world that “saving the ocean is saving the climate”!

We demand recognition that all initiatives and actions that effectively contribute to the conservation of the ocean and its ecosystems are climate action!

Without further delay or hesitation, we demand:

• Immediate incorporation of the value of the ocean into economic and political decision-making;

• Creation of a global network of marine protected areas that effectively protect at least 30% of the world’s seas and coastal areas by 2030;

Recovery of collapsed or overfished marine ecosystems and restoration of sensitive habitats (such as coral reefs);

Prohibition of bottom trawling and other industrial and destructive fishing gear in marine protected areas;

Respect for scientific advice in establishing fisheries management measures and, in the absence of scientific advice, adopting a truly precautionary approach;

Immediate ban on all new offshore oil and gas exploration and production;

• Adoption of a legally binding moratorium on deep seabed mining in territorial and international waters;

Ensure that the global temperature rise does not exceed 1.5ºC in order to limit the rise of sea levels and ocean acidification;

End all harmful fisheries subsidies and fossil fuel exemptions and subsidies;

• Implementation of an ambitious UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution that regulates and reduces plastic pollution along the entire life-cycle;

• Adoption of a High Seas Treaty at the next United Nations negotiating session.

These are just some of the many actions that can be taken to protect and regenerate the ocean, increase its resilience and thus fight the effects of climate change.

If you or your organization are working on any of them, or if you simply recognize this connection between ocean and climate, dress in blue and join us on June 29 at 6:00pm at Parque das Nações, in Lisbon!

The updated list of endorsing organizations can be found here. For more information, contact us at oceano [-at-] salvaroclima [-dot-] pt .