Even those unfamiliar with the policies, protocols, and practices of the United Nations and its partners could not ignore the groundswell of popular support for environmental responsibility the week of 2019 UN Climate Summit. With worldwide student walkouts and “strikes” environmentalists of all ages asked high officials for concrete plans and course corrections in the age of the Anthropocene. Interestingly, because of the high economic and environmental stakes curiosity about United States participation piqued across political parties.
One domain, the ocean, shows the power of constructive conversation and financial investments to transform transboundary challenges into solutions. CNN’s Erna Solberg and Tommy Remengesau, Jr. frame the ocean as “a potent force in stabilizing the climate and building a secure future for everyone.” International investments look like the proof in the pudding with groups like the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA). Timely, as with the IPCC’s (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) release of a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
Looking forward, it will be illuminating to see how individual cities incorporate new knowledge and calls to action across issue areas. How will independence and leadership be exercised at a city level (or not)? For example, with Boston’s rich maritime history there is ample room to interface with the growing ocean sustainability movement. Emergent organizations like SeaAhead have a lot to offer as the tide turns towards greater environmental stewardship-- informed by evidence-- worldwide.