Ocean Climate Action Plan Information

Ocean Climate Action Plan

Background Information

In the face of climate change, the ocean can be a source of climate adaptation and mitigation solutions that provide co-benefits such as good-paying jobs, sustainable livelihoods and communities, and healthier ocean ecosystems. Ocean-based solutions include, but are not limited to: green shipping, blue carbon, biodiversity conservation and protection, ecosystem protection and restoration, nature-based solutions, marine renewable energy, ocean-based carbon dioxide removal and sequestration, climate-ready aquaculture and fisheries, and other ocean-climate related actions.

To accelerate the U.S. whole-of-government approach to climate action, the Ocean Policy Committee is developing an Ocean Climate Action Plan. This plan will feature ongoing and planned federal ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation activities, identify gaps in climate and ocean science and management capabilities, and recommend new or enhanced ocean science and policy actions to tackle climate change. The plan will integrate environmental justice considerations into ocean-based climate solutions, to pave an equitable path towards climate-resilient systems, resources, communities, and infrastructure.

The Ocean Climate Action Plan will advance relevant Biden-Harris administration climate goals and activities, which include:

  • Provide 40% of federal investment benefits relating to climate change to disadvantaged communities (Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, January 27, 2021);
  • Produce 30 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2030 (FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Jumpstarts Offshore Wind Energy Projects to Create Jobs, March 29, 2021);
  • Conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (Executive Order 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, January 27, 2021);
  • Achieve zero emissions from international shipping no later than 2050 (FACT SHEET: President Biden's Leaders Summit on Climate, April 23, 2021), working with the International Maritime Organization; and
  • Develop federal agency adaptation and resilience plans in response to Executive Order 14008 (FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Releases Agency Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans from Across Federal Government, October 7, 2021).
Public Input 

To ensure that the Ocean Climate Action Plan is informed by the best-available knowledge, the Ocean Policy Committee is seeking input from all interested parties through a Federal Register Notice published on October 4, 2022. Input received in response to this notice will be used to develop the Ocean Climate Action Plan, which will set targets and timelines for agency actions on developing and delivering ocean-based solutions to climate change. To inform the development of the Ocean Climate Action Plan, the Ocean Policy Committee is requesting recommendations from the public on the following:

  • Critical Actions
  • Knowledge, Science, and Technology
  • Environmental Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Partnerships and Collaboration

To submit comments on the scope and content of the Ocean Climate Action Plan, please see the instructions listed in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-21480. The comment period closes on November 18, 2022.