• It's the decade of ocean science, and one in which we must get on track for net-zero by 2050.
  • Two World Economic Forum events discussed the massive challenges ahead.
  • Marine biologist Nina Jensen joins Radio Davos to pick some highlights.

"We have entered what is probably the most important decade in the history of humankind."

IKEA Chief Executive Jesper Brodin's gentle Swedish tones did not undermine the enormity of his message, delivered at 'Climate Breakthroughs: The Road to COP26 and Beyond'. The event brought together governments, business, scientists and civil society to address climate change, ahead of the COP26 climate summit due to be held in Glasgow in November.

"We stand in an existential crisis that will impact every person, every business. Acknowledging that leads to, of course, a lot of despair, a lot of fear," Brodin told the event, but added that, with the right actions and leadership, "there is an opportunity for us to resolve this situation, and we will."

In the same week, the World Economic Forum also hosted the Virtual Ocean Dialogues, to look at how we can protect our seas from over-fishing, plastic pollution, and the effects of global warming.

With contributions from US Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry, the head of the International Energy Agency, and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Radio Davos listened in to these important discussions, with the help of marine biologist - and Friend of Ocean Action - Nina Jensen.

She reminded us that another reason this is such a crucial decade for the environment is that it is officially the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

'James Bond meets marine science' - the REV Ocean, still under construction
'James Bond meets marine science' - the REV Ocean, still under construction
Image: REV Ocean

Links to things mentioned in this episode of Radio Davos.

The letter to the G7 by more than 70 big business leaders.

The International Energy Agency's report Net Zero by 2050, and this succinct analysis.

The Race to Zero campaign of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

John Kerry's session at Climate Breakthroughs. Watch here.

Uplink Blue Food Challenge:

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Join the World Economic Forum Podcast Club on Facebook.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the ocean?

Our ocean covers 70% of the world’s surface and accounts for 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. We can't have a healthy future without a healthy ocean - but it's more vulnerable than ever because of climate change and pollution.

Tackling the grave threats to our ocean means working with leaders across sectors, from business to government to academia.

The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute, convenes the Friends of Ocean Action, a coalition of leaders working together to protect the seas. From a programme with the Indonesian government to cut plastic waste entering the sea to a global plan to track illegal fishing, the Friends are pushing for new solutions.

Climate change is an inextricable part of the threat to our oceans, with rising temperatures and acidification disrupting fragile ecosystems. The Forum runs a number of initiatives to support the shift to a low-carbon economy, including hosting the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, who have cut emissions in their companies by 9%.

Is your organization interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.