Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How the Biden Administration Can Leverage the Power of the Ocean in the Fight Against Climate Change
Press Release

RELEASE: How the Biden Administration Can Leverage the Power of the Ocean in the Fight Against Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — The ocean can be a powerful source of solutions in the fight against climate change, providing up to one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A new column from the Center for American Progress, Ocean Defense Initiative, and Ocean Conservancy outlines 20 actions the Biden administration can take in its first 100 days to leverage the power of the ocean to mitigate climate change.

Among the recommendations:

  • Recommit the United States to climate and ocean leadership.
  • Reduce emissions by limiting offshore oil and gas drilling and promoting the expansion of offshore wind and other renewable energy.
  • Improve the United States’ climate resilience by protecting ocean and coastal habitats and investing in coastal restoration.
  • Establish a Climate Council in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Reduce emissions from the shipping industry.

“Our ocean is critical to every part of our lives. It feeds us, transports us, secures our borders, employs us, gives us oxygen, and inspires us. Yet the ocean has far too often been left out of the climate conversation,” says Miriam Goldstein, managing director for Energy and Environment Policy and director of Ocean Policy at CAP. “Ocean-based solutions can reduce emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and increase the resilience of coastal communities. Now is the time for the Biden administration to implement this bold and urgently needed vision.”

“After a destructive four years for our ocean and climate, the new administration has the opportunity to take advantage of a number of impactful ocean-based solutions to build back better,” says Anne Merwin, vice president of conservation at the Ocean Conservancy. “From reducing shipping emissions to supporting coastal blue carbon ecosystems, making early progress on these solutions would be a clear win for the administration, the ocean, and the climate.”

“The climate crisis is real and requires an all-of-government response that employs all solutions available,” says Jean Flemma, director of the Ocean Defense Initiative and a co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab. “We are grateful that President-elect Biden is committed to tackling climate change, and we look forward to working with the new administration to ensure that the ocean is part of the solution. From front-line communities hit first and worst by sea level rise and flooding to fishermen watching their catch move ever north in search of cooler water, ocean climate solutions will be critical to a more just and sustainable future.”

Read the column here: “An Ocean and Climate Agenda for the New Administration” by Jean Flemma, Miriam Goldstein, and Anne Merwin

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at