5th EMB Forum, The Ocean-Climate Nexus (21 October 2015, Brussels) (Photo: http://www.marineboard.eu/)Following the 5th Forum of the European Marine Board (EMB), which took place in Brussels on October 21st 2015, a video summary and the "Ocean Nexus Consensus Statement" have been released. The documents, addressed to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), that will get underway in Paris starting tomorrow, summarize the role of the ocean in the earth and climate systems. It sets out some of the key challenges for unravelling the links between ocean and climate and the most important research priorities that can help provide answers and support an evidence-based societal response to climate change. 

The stament calls on the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to:

  • Recognize the fundamental role of the ocean in the climate system in reaching a post-2020 climate agreement;
  • Deliver a strong agreement with ambitious mitigation targets to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and curb damage to the ocean and its ecosystems;
  • Understand and promote the role of ocean and climate research as a fundamental tool in the societal response to climate change and provide impetus to improve the knowledge base for climate action

EMB’s 5th Forum, the Ocean-Climate Nexus took place on October 21st 2015 in the European Parliament in Brussels. Hosted by MEP and former EMB vice-Chair, Ricardo Serrão Santos, and in the context of the upcoming COP21 talks, the Forum focused on the critical role of ocean science as part of the societal response to climate change. The Forum programme featured presentations from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and President of the US based Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Sherri Goodman, delivered via video message. Scientific presentations covered ocean circulation and climate change (Mojib Latif, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), Germany) and ocean acidification and its impacts on marine ecosystems (Ceri Lewis, University of Exeter, UK). A key output of the Forum was the Ocean Nexus Consensus Statement. Presented at the Forum by lead author Michael Schulz (Centre for Marine Environment Sciences (MARUM), Germany), the Consensus Statement was drafted by a working group nominated from EMB member organizations and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and reflects a consensus view from marine research communities in Europe and North America on the key priorities for ocean research in the context of global change. Following the presentation of the Consensus Statement a panel discussion took place featuring the speakers who were joined by Vladimir Ryabinin (Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanography Commission of UNESCO) and Andrea Tilche (Head of the Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit, European Commission). A full recording of the Ocean-Climate Nexus event is available for viewing here and a summary of the live tweeting is available here.