Ocean Resilience and Climate Alliance launches with $250m fund

Formerly announced during COP28, leading philanthropic backers, researchers and conservationists are joining forces to slow and reverse the collapse of marine ecosystems. 

sea waves

ORCA, the Ocean Resilience and Climate Alliance, has started operations with $250million in funding, which will be siloed into seven core areas over the next five years. 

Focuses include high impact measures in emissions, such as rapidly scaling offshore wind, potentially delivering 7% of the total greenhouse gas reduction needed to avoid a 2C temperature rise. Decarbonisation of the shipping industry is also a priority. Meanwhile, by strengthening coastal resilience efforts the wellbeing of 1.4billion could be better protected. 

ORCA funders include Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Builders Vision, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. Oak Foundation, Oceankind, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Rivian Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Vere Initiatives are also listed as benefactors.

According to analysis, climate mitigation accounts for just 2% of total philanthropic giving, with the ocean receiving 1%. It is hoped that through the new alliance the total amount donated may significantly increase, with potentially huge effects on the environmental crisis – around half of the carbon solutions necessary to keep global warming under 2C are directly tied to the ocean. 

‘Recent ocean observations show that the oceans have absorbed a shocking amount of heat energy that will affect climate and ocean ecosystems for decades to come,’ said Margaret Leinen, vice chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego and director of Scripps Oceanography. ‘We must have the capability to measure and monitor ocean conditions if we are to understand what society and indeed, all life on Earth, is up against. I commend these philanthropic institutions for focusing on this critical issue and leveraging their financial might to help protect our ocean.’

‘I’m very glad to see several of our private donor partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Builders Vision, Oceankind and many others announce a major new infusion of funding into ocean-climate solutions,’ said H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for COP28. ‘The Ocean Resilience and Climate Alliance is an ambitious, collaborative funding effort that will help us to both protect the oceans from harm and better understand the role they play in climate change. It will invest in protections for vulnerable marine areas – helping us reach the U.N. goal of protecting 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.’

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Image: Silas Baisch


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