Hello everyone, it is a pleasure to be here to participate in this important discussion. Thank you to Ocean Visions for organizing this event.
We’re here in Sharm El-Sheikh to keep the 1.5-degree target within reach and avoid the worst of the climate crisis.
The Biden Administration is committed to a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis.
The climate crisis is also an ocean crisis, and the ocean bears the brunt of climate change.
As emissions rise, the ocean is becoming warmer, higher, more acidic, and less productive.
Communities around the globe are already strained by the effects of climate change on our ocean.
But the ocean is also resilient. And it can help us tackle climate challenges if we take advantage of its many benefits.
The ocean is the largest carbon sink on our planet, and its ecosystems protect coastal communities from storms and flooding.
Pursuing ocean-based solutions like decarbonizing the shipping sector, deploying offshore wind energy, and advancing marine nature-based solutions, can contribute significantly to global emissions reductions.
And ocean-based climate solutions offer other important benefits like biodiversity recovery, that can address the twin crises of climate change and nature loss.
Coastal ecosystems also have the potential to play an important role in mitigating carbon emissions. Though they occupy only about two percent of the ocean, ecosystems like seagrass beds and mangroves account for about half of the carbon sequestered in ocean sediments.
We must conserve and support these ecosystems if we have any chance of meeting our carbon emissions goals.
We need both scaled-up investment and access to robust climate data – to identify the best paths forward to remove and sequester carbon, and to fund the initiatives that will get us there.
As part of this effort, President Biden announced at COP26 his Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, called “PREPARE.”
In September, the White House released the PREPARE Action Plan, which outlines how 19 federal agencies will help more than 500 million people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change by 2030.
We know that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to climate adaptation. PREPARE will help communities access resources to adapt to their local, specific needs.
Through PREPARE, we will get climate data into the hands of communities that need it to strengthen resilience.
And we will strengthen the capacity of developing countries to access finance for adaptation, develop bankable investments, and mobilize private capital.
2022 has been a year of ambitious climate action for the United States, and we will continue supporting coastal communities around the world as they build resilience and adapt to the unique climate impacts they face.
Together, we can ensure that communities and the resources and ecosystems that sustain them are equipped to adapt to a changing world.