Ocean-based climate action and human rights implications under the International Climate Change Regime

Elisa Morgera, Mitchell Lennan, Kati Kulovesi, Giulia La Bianca, Holly J. Niner, Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb, Eugenia Recio Piva, Jeremy Hills, Mara Ntona, Alana Malinde S. N. Lancaster, Mia Strand, Bernadette Snow, Kira Erwin, Lynne Shannon, Sian Rees, Kieran Hyder, Georg Engelhard, Kerry Howell

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After drawing attention to the crucial role of marine biodiversity, including that of deep-sea ecosystems, in current scientific understanding of the ocean-climate nexus, this article highlights the limited extent to which the international climate change regime has so far addressed the ocean. The focus then shifts to how the international climate change regime could contribute to the protection of marine biodiversity as part of mitigation, adaptation and finance, taking into account human rights impacts and standards, drawing a comparison with REDD+. The article concludes with an original proposal, inspired by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, to develop urgent, synergistic approaches to ocean- and human rights-based climate action through a multi-actor coalition, including different international treaties and United Nations bodies, to 'protect and restore the ocean's contributions to climate regulation, human well-being and planetary health'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-446
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2023


  • biodiversity
  • finance
  • human rights
  • international climate change regime
  • ocean-climate nexus

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