Report Fresh off the Press!
From 14 to 20 May over 200 scientists, innovators, policymakers, business and financial experts, government representatives, community leaders, and environmental and youth activists convened in French Polynesia for the Blue Climate Summit. The Summit advanced a number of most compelling and concrete collaborative projects dedicated to protecting the ocean, safeguarding the planet, and addressing climate change.
Click on the cover image to read the full outcomes report. You will find some Summit highlight videos below. And - stay tuned, as a short documentary will soon be available.
Short Summit highlights video
Opening ceremony at the Presidential Palace
Final Press Conference
A High-Level Summit to Accelerate Impact
The Blue Climate Summit was held in French Polynesia on May 14-20, 2022. This global convening of 250+ carefully selected ocean leaders and champions in the heart of the Pacific lived up to its promise of being a uniquely galvanizing, powerful, and impactful event.
The purposes of the Summit were to accelerate ocean-related solutions to climate change, launch major announcements, galvanize task forces, present impact investment opportunities, and provide an international forum for Pacific Islanders to spearhead action on ocean and climate issues.
The Summit brought together scientists, environmental activists, business leaders, policy makers, financial experts, community leaders, influencers, and youth leaders to accelerate solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing humankind.
The Blue Climate Summit was an endorsed action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and co-hosted by the Government of French Polynesia alongside other public and private institutions.
With the largest managed marine area in the world and its 19,000 km2 Biosphere Reserve, our people of the largest ocean continent carry a message to offer to the World. On the occasion of the Blue Climate Summit, I invite the world to come to French Polynesia, to Listen to us, and above all, to Hear us.
- Monsieur Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia.
Why a Blue Climate Summit?
The ocean is life-giving to humanity and the biosphere. It provides us with food, oxygen, incomes, and energy. It is a vast carbon and heat store, protecting us from climate change. Yet it is under threat. Human actions are causing rising sea levels, warmer temperatures, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem damage through chemical pollutants. The health of our oceans is bound to the health of people and our planet. We urgently need action to reverse the downward spiral.
Solutions do exist, but need backing with the expertise, resources, networks, and influence to go to scale. The Summit has identified compelling real-world projects that target six blue climate missions: climate change mitigation, ocean protection, CO2 removal, healthy blue communities, sustainable tourism, and improved ocean understanding. Together, we will focus on action-based conversation to ensure these projects have a transformative impact.
Ocean stewardship is intrinsic to Polynesian culture, and climate change is an existential threat across the South Pacific. The Summit, co-sponsored by the Government of French Polynesia, also offers a global forum for Pacific Islanders to inspire and inform action on ocean and climate issues.
Meet the Co-Conveners of the Blue Climate Summit
We are honored to count among our Co-Conveners some of the world’s most distinguished thought leaders. Champions all, they are truly game changers working at the nexus of oceans and climate change.
Sovereign of the Principality of Monaco and Founder of Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco
President of French Polynesia
President and Co-Chair, Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance
President, Polynesian Voyaging Society
Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal: Sequester carbon through ocean-related strategies
Blue Climate Change Mitigation: Avoid carbon emissions through ocean-related innovations
Ocean Protection: Scale up conservation efforts that benefit both nature and people
Healthy Blue Communities: Support an engaged network of communities to advance human wellbeing, ocean health, and climate resilience
Sustainable Blue Tourism: Support tourism programs in island and coastal destinations contributing to climate change mitigation, poverty alleviation, and the protection of natural & cultural heritage
Summit Program Highlights
Day 1: Welcome reception for all aboard the Paul Gauguin.
Day 2: The Vast Ocean-Climate Challenge: A welcome at the Presidential Palace will lay down the call for action, after which participants will immerse themselves in the six blue-climate missions.
Day 2 and 3: Project Acceleration: Diverse projects will undergo multiple rounds of iteration and support, benefiting from peer expertise and links to potential funders. Projects are as varied as blue carbon exchange, wave power, seaweed farming, reef restoration, and a deep sea mining watch.
Day 4 and 5: Scaling for Impact: Together, the projects must seed a wider transformation. Participants will be challenged to address dependencies, identify synergies, and tackle underlying constraints such as finance, data, law, and coordination. The Summit will join a historic convening of Polynesian voyagers.
Day 6: A Message to the World: The Summit concludes with a public ocean aid concert on the Tahiti waterfront, bringing together international and local artists to raise public awareness and inspire action for ocean and climate.
The Ocean Concert
An ocean benefit concert will be held on the Tahiti waterfront on the last day of the Summit, May 20, 2022. The event will bring together international and local artists to raise awareness and inspire action on ocean and climate issues. Between performances, local and world leaders will speak out on the ocean and climate crisis. There has never been a more important time for the world to come together around the threats facing our oceans and our planet.
A Climate-Positive Event
The Blue Climate Initiative is committed to making the Summit a climate-positive, net-zero emissions event. Direct emissions reduction, carbon removal, and indirect emission avoidance are all vital forms of net-zero strategies (see the Oxford principles for net zero aligned carbon offsetting and Decoding ADEME’s opinion on carbon neutrality). We have incorporated all types of offsets into our program. We also believe that travel-related carbon offsets should support climate action in the destination community itself, wherever possible. While working closely with Summit service providers to minimize their footprint through sourcing from most sustainable available channels and means of transport, we offset the Summit’s carbon footprint by investing in both a carbon removal/sequestration project in the tropical IndoPacific and an emission reduction project in French Polynesia.
We estimate the footprint of the Summit, including participant travel, at roughly 900 tons of CO2. While participants are encouraged to offset their own travel (e.g., through airline carbon credit programs), and the Summit program itself will of course stimulate and accelerate substantial new climate action, we are also investing over $200,000 directly in projects that offset at least 1,800 tons of CO2 (i.e., at least twice the Summit’s carbon footprint).
The initiatives that we are putting into action include our carbon removal/sequestration project, a multiple-year investment in the development and restoration of two hectares of mangrove forest in Malaysian Borneo, which will also offer significant co-benefits for biodiversity and local livelihoods. Our emissions reduction program advances the decarbonization of Moorea (the Summit’s host island in French Polynesia) through the installation of rooftop solar panels at a local community center and research station. Through this investment, we also support educational, scientific, and cultural programs linked to island sustainability and climate resilience.
Meet our Program Committee Co-Chairs!
At the helm of a fourteen-member committee, our distinguished Program Committee Co-Chairs will curate the projects that will support the Missions underpinning the Summit by focusing action, collaboration and commitments.
Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Lead Researcher at Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE)
Executive Director of the University of California Gump South Pacific Research Station (Moorea); Research Affiliate at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science
Founder and Lead Partner of FutureTable; formerly Head of Global Food Systems Collaboration at the World Economic Forum; Strategic Lead, Blue Climate Initiative
Secretary General, Ocean & Climate Platform; Global Shapers member; UNFCC Co-focal point for Ocean and Coastal Zones for the Marrakech Partnership-Global Climate Action Agenda
Meet our Program Committee Members!
Ignace Beguin Billecocq
Ocean Lead, UNFCCC Climate Champions
Founder and CEO, Ocean Elders and Co-Founder, Attractor Investment Management
Executive Director, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
Programme Specialist at UNESCO - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Emanuele Di Lorenzo
Director & Professor of Ocean Science & Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology; Chairman, Ocean Visions
Chief Innovation Officer, Sustainable Ocean Alliance; Co-Founder of the Ocean Solutions Accelerator
Advisor to the CEO & Vice President, Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco
Senior Lecturer Te Wānanga o Waipapa, University of Auckland; Culture Commissioner, New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
Director, Technology and Innovation, Minderoo Foundation
Rebekah Shirley Lukera
Director of Research, Data & Innovation at World Resources Institute, Africa.
Global Director of Sustainability, Iberostar Group
Hinano Teavai Murphy
Cultural Director, Tetiaroa Society and Te Pu Atiti’a
President, Maritime Cluster of French Polynesia
Founder, Global Ocean Trust
Everyone on the Paul Gauguin (participants and crew) will be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to boarding. Also, in addition to government-mandated testing before and after arrival in French Polynesia, everyone will be tested prior to boarding and during the Summit.
French Polynesia is carving an innovative path, avoiding the pitfalls leading to the irreversible degradation of its two pillars: "moana" (the ocean) and "fenua" (the land). Framework of our Common Heritage, these pillars bring together all spaces, resources and natural environments, sites and landscapes, air, water and soils, animal and plant species, ecosystems and their services, diversity, and the biological balance which they both thrive from and contribute to. With the largest managed marine area in the world and its 19,000 km2 Biosphere Reserve, our people of the largest ocean continent carry a message to offer to the World. On the occasion of the Blue Climate Summit, I invite the world to come to French Polynesia, to Listen to us, and above all, to Hear us.
- Monsieur Edouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia.