Coalition of charitable foundations pledges USD 250 million to ocean resilience

The stage at COP 28.

More than a dozen foundations have pledged USD 250 million (EUR 232 million) over a five-year period to support efforts to address the global climate crisis through coordination and collaboration within the ocean-related funding community. 

The recipient of the funds, the newly created Ocean Resilience and Climate Alliance (ORCA), will focus on how philanthropy can help drive and scale ocean-based solutions to climate change and increase global investment in this area. The coalition of foundations points to research that indicates almost half of the potential solutions intended to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius could be ocean-based interventions.  

“Science has shown just how powerful a role the ocean plays in staving off the impacts of rising emissions,” Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patricia E. Harris said. “It’s a tremendous ally in the climate fight, but it’s also under siege – and we have to step up to protect it. Together with an incredible group of philanthropic partners, we’re doing just that by investing in ocean-based solutions that fight the climate crisis, from off-shore wind power development to marine habitat restoration.”

Strengthening coastal resilience is also a priority for ORCA. With 1.4 billion people around the world living in vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas, the coalition is trying to fill what it sees as a funding gap –  just 2 percent of total philanthropic giving goes to climate mitigation, while ocean conservation receives less than 1 percent.

ORCA will work in seven core areas, including rapidly scaling offshore wind development; decarbonizing the shipping industry; safeguarding the Arctic for its people, marine life, and global climate functions; supporting strategic diplomacy for an ocean-climate agenda; scaling community-led action in the Global South; advancing ocean carbon research; and increasing habitat restoration and conservation efforts that enhance ocean carbon capture.

The announcement was made 2 December at COP28, the U.N. Climate Change Conference held in the United Arab Emirates. Participating foundations include the Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Builders Vision, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Oak Foundation, Oceankind, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Rivian Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

“This is a pivotal moment for ocean and climate funders joining forces to harness the power of the ocean to mitigate climate change and strengthen community resilience,” David and Lucile Packard Foundation Ocean Director Meg Caldwell said. “We know that equitable and sustainable ocean and climate solutions are possible when we center the communities who depend most on a healthy ocean.”

ORCA hopes to align philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and local and indigenous communities in their work on resilient ocean ecosystems, while also aligning with governmental efforts around their 30 by 30 goals to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030. 

“In June 2025, France, together with Costa Rica, will be hosting the Third U.N. Ocean Conference in Nice,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “We will need concrete solutions and commitments to enhance the power of our ocean to fight climate change. This new coalition serves as a testament to the collective strength achieved when we unite, mobilizing the necessary funding to support on-the-ground actions and drive progress for our ocean and planet.”

Photo courtesy of Office of the President of France


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