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Ocean-climate nexus

Strengthening the nexus between the ocean and climate change is a priority for the EU.


978-92-76-56151-4, KI-07-22-867-EN-N
Publication date
7 November 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation


The research and innovation framework programme, Horizon 2020, has funded scientific research on the ocean and climate nexus which reinforces the European and global scientific capacity to better understand drivers of change in the ocean and tackle emerging threats, as well as bringing forth solutions and innovations, and supporting decision-making in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, as well as in policies aimed at preserving a healthy state of the ocean and seas. The research carried out supports the transformative European Green Deal agenda with transparent, comprehensive and balanced scientific evidence and innovative solutions. It promotes high-quality research that is essential for policy-making and it contributes significantly to global scientific assessments.

The portfolio is made up of over 350 projects, with a budget of approx. €1BL that feature achievements in having strengthened the scientific knowledge on global climate change and biosphere integrity, and having brought forth key understanding for tackling environmental and climate change in the most vulnerable ecosystems, such as the ocean and Polar Regions, that are test beds for climate change impacts and sustainable development. The portfolio has also identified and deployed innovative and sustainable solutions that are based on win-win strategies that are biodiversity positive with climate mitigation and adaptation co-benefits, including nature-based solutions that ensure integrity of the Polar Regions and of the ocean. In addition, the portfolio has contributed to evidenced-informed policy-making and implementation, and has supported key international processes under the UNFCCC, as well as leading in EU-science diplomacy.

The publication is intended to contribute to raising awareness of the crucial role of the ocean-climate nexus for climate change processes, as well as bringing the ocean health on a path to recovery as a priority for the EU. The research is supportive in addressing the ocean-climate-biodiversity-pollution challenges in a holistic manner by reinforcing the understanding of the interrelationship between the ocean and climate change and incorporating them in their interlinked nature into policies.

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Ocean-climate nexus
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