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Oceans of Opportunity

A healthy ocean sustains our economy, food systems and regulates our planet's climate.

Descend to learn about our incredible ocean and why we must invest in ocean restoration and a sustainable ocean economy.

Humanity faces a triple challenge of meeting the needs of a growing population, protecting nature, and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Ocean restoration needs to play a critical part.

Our ocean covers over 70% of the planet's surface, contains 97% of all water and produces 50% of our oxygen.

Three billion of us rely on it for our livelihoods and food security. And it's worth approximately US$24 trillion a year, equivalent to the 7th largest economy by GDP in 2015.

The ocean also helps protect us against the impact of climate change. Coastal ecosystems protect cities and agricultural areas against flooding, and the ocean is a huge carbon sink - locking up 30% of our annual carbon emissions.

But it is under threat. As waters warm and sea levels rise, marine and coastal ecosystems are being destroyed at unprecedented rates.

We can all take action to restore our ocean today.
Descend to learn more.

Mangroves protect more than 15 million people from flood risk, saving over US$65 billion in property damages yearly. As storm numbers and intensity increase, we need mangroves to protect us more than ever. They're an essential nursery too - many commercial fish start life in mangroves, moving to deeper waters when they mature. And they can store up to 10 times more carbon than forests on land. Yet mangrove deforestation is up to five times more - 50% has been cleared in the last 20 years.

WWT - a Deloitte WorldClimate partner - is working to restore mangroves.
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A wave passing through 100 metres of mangrove loses over 60% of its energy.

Seagrass, one of the world's most valuable blue carbon assets, accounts for 10% of carbon stored in the ocean despite occupying only 0.2% of the seafloor. It's also a large fish nursery and protects against coastal erosion, extreme weather, and sea level rise. Yet it's disappearing at an alarming rate; we lost an estimated 92% in the last century.

Save our Seabed is an EU LIFE funded programme investing in seagrass restoration.
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Seagrass captures atmospheric carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.

Coral reefs are worth an estimated £6 trillion each year through fishing, tourism, and coastal protection. They're also home to at least a quarter of our marine life, feeding an estimated 500 million people globally.

Yet half our coral reefs have disappeared since the 1950s — declining at twice the pace of rainforests. If we don't reverse this trend and address how to stay in a world of 1.5°C warming or less - we will lose 90% of all coral reefs forever.

Earthshot prize winner, Coral Vita, works with governments and corporations to restore our coral reefs.
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Coral reefs can reduce wave energy by up to 97%, significantly limiting erosion and flood damage in coastal areas.

Whales play a vital role in the health of our ocean. Their waste feeds algae and phytoplankton. Phytoplankton absorbs an estimated 50 billion tonnes of CO2 - four times more than the Amazon rainforest.

Whales are also a carbon sink. Whales capture 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide in their lifetimes on average, and when they die, this sinks with their bodies to the bottom of the ocean for centuries or more.

Whale populations are significantly smaller than they once were following centuries of whaling and ongoing threats from fisheries bycatch, shipping, and pollution.

Learn how the Chilean government is protecting whales by developing intelligent buoys that reduce the threat from ship strikes and how Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) - a Deloitte WorldClimate partner - works with governments and corporations to protect these essential sea mammals.
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The carbon capture potential of the global great whale population is estimated at US$1 trillion.

Our ocean is under threat. We've been largely blind to its destruction and offer little investment to protect and restore it.

Continuing to treat the ocean as an unlimited resource will lead to ecological and economic collapse in the near future.

If we act now, the ocean can recover as soon as 2050.

We need to invest an estimated US$175 billion every year and galvanise governments, businesses, and individuals to understand, protect and restore our ocean.


The ocean currently receives less than 1% of global climate finance.

What you can do now

1. Understand

Understand your relationship with the ocean - how you and your supply chain use it, your impact on it and the risks and opportunities it brings. Read our blog for guidance and see how ready your organisation is for the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

2. Commit

Commit to ambitious goals and science-based targets on climate and nature. Make meaningful, informed, and public commitments, and set science-based net zero and nature positive targets that incorporate your contribution to ocean restoration. For guidance, visit Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and Science Based Targets Network (SBTN).

3. Develop

Develop a net zero, nature positive transition plan that integrates action to protect and invest in ocean recovery. Identify ways to shift your business assets, operations, investments, and value chains away from ocean damaging activities. Seek opportunities to invest in ocean-based solutions to capture carbon to help you meet your climate and nature goals. Read Drop in the Ocean to learn more about investing in ocean recovery.

4. Embed

Embed climate and nature goals into your business, commercial and risk management frameworks and processes. Mainstream sustainability and build capacity at all levels to achieve meaningful change and unlock the opportunities from a sustainable transition. Actively work in partnership with others - like WWFWDCWWT or MCS - to help restore oceans and coasts.

5. Advocate

Advocate for ambitious government policies that will help businesses to scale and speed up action on ocean recovery. Sign up to Business for Nature's call for action and push for a new Global Goal for Nature at this year's UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Read more

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