Keynote Speaker COST Symposium Tenerife: Assistant Professor Beatriz Martinez Romera

From 5. November 2017

Ocean Governance in the Age of Climate Change and Sustainable Development

In 2015, two major political achievements set the world on the path towards sustainability and decarbonization for the century. First, the UN Assembly Resolution ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ established 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide countries’ decisions over the next fifteen years. Second, the Paris Climate Agreement established a long-term goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C (aspirational 1.5°C) above pre-industrial levels. This goal entails that countries have to take action to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter to achieve a balance between sources and sinks of GHGs in the second half of this century. These two instruments are vital for the development of international ocean governance in the forthcoming years, where legal frameworks for key issue-areas such as acidification, ecosystems or the Arctic are to be advanced and improved under these auspices.

The EU has played a crucial role as an international actor in environmental and climate change matters, taking the lead and raising ambition. Importantly, the objectives for the EU environmental policy include the promotion of measures at the international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change, aiming at a high level of protection. This keynote speech will address the interplay of these two instruments for international ocean governance, and the implications of their implementation in ocean-related EU law and policy-making.