Oceana Welcomes President Biden’s Ocean Climate Action Plan, Says More Must Be Done to Stop New Offshore Drilling - Oceana USA

Oceana Welcomes President Biden’s Ocean Climate Action Plan, Says More Must Be Done to Stop New Offshore Drilling

Press Release Date: March 21, 2023

Location: Washington


Megan Jordan | email: mjordan@oceana.org | tel: 202.868.4061

Today, Oceana’s Vice President for the United States, Beth Lowell, issued a statement in response to President Biden’s release of the Ocean Climate Action Plan:

“It’s reassuring that President Biden is taking the climate crisis seriously and ensuring that our oceans are factored into the plan to address it. To date, our oceans have helped protect us from the worst impacts of climate change, and we know they can play an outsized role in keeping the planet from warming to catastrophic levels. But in order for that to happen, countries like the United States must stop the expansion of dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. Oceana’s analysis found that stopping the expansion of offshore drilling — combined with the phasedown of existing production driven by reduced fossil fuel demand as clean energy comes online — would deliver up to 13% of the annual greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. When combined with the five ocean-based solutions from the 2019 High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy report (e.g., protecting marine habitats, safeguarding climate-friendly seafood, improving shipping efficiency, replacing fossil fuel power with renewable sources, and improving catch efficiency and fuel use in fishing) it would take the total ocean contribution to nearly 40% of the emission reductions needed by 2050 to keep the planet from warming a catastrophic 2 degrees Celsius.  

In the United States alone, permanent offshore drilling protections for unleased federal waters could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions as well as more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment.

Oceana is continuing to call on President Biden to deliver on his commitment to end new leasing for offshore drilling in his five-year plan, while expanding responsibly-sourced offshore wind, phasing out the use of unnecessary, single-use plastics that contribute to climate change at every stage of their life-cycle, combatting illegal fishing that undermines climate-resilient oceans, and protecting important habitat areas that are essential to ensuring climate-friendly and abundant fisheries. The President’s ocean climate legacy will be decided by his decision on the five-year plan.

While more must be done to support our oceans in the fight against climate change, we applaud President Biden’s commitment to protect all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands.”