November 5—Ocean Action Day at COP26 was marked by a broad set of commitments to provide substantial new funding to defend the quality of the oceans and protect the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on the marine environment.
UK International Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith co-hosted at the Resilience Hub on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office alongside the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA).
He warned that coral reefs and other marine life would not survive an average global temperature rise of 2C but speaking positively he said, “For the first time in my memory I feel we are pointing in the right direction. But we have to get on fast.”
But the event’s real stars were speakers from island nations including The Bahamas, the Maldives, and the Philippines, where extreme weather associated with climate change has already caused land loss and extensive damage.
Bahamian Maya Delaney told the meeting that climate change was a “catastrophe” that was already happening in the Caribbean. “This is a massive moment,” she said. “For the first time, the ocean has risen to the top of the climate agenda.”
Maya Delaney is a first-year MBA candidate at MIT Sloan School of Management, focusing on the intersection of ocean conservation and finance. She aims to advance private finance solutions that accelerate the sustainable development of Blue Economy industries across small island developing states, including in her home country: The Bahamas. Maya holds a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Sustainability – both from Stanford University.