Fugro to Advance Ocean Science and Ocean Climate Action Agenda at COP28

(Image credit: Fugro)

Fugro will join a consortium of prominent ocean science organizations as a partner of the Ocean Pavilion at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, UAE. Convened under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP28 will take place from November 30 to December 12.

The event will bring together delegates from around the globe, including heads of state and leaders in research, policy and business, to build consensus and advance climate action commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Ocean Pavilion is now in its second year at COP and will once again be located in the ‘Blue Zone’, a designated area for UNFCCC formal negotiations, panel discussions and speaking events. Co-led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, the Ocean Pavilion serves as a focal point for conference delegates to exchange ideas on harnessing ocean science and solutions to address the climate crisis, all while underscoring the ocean’s critical role in climate regulation.

Though Fugro participated in Ocean Pavilion activities during COP27, this is their first year as a partner organization. This increased commitment is in line with Fugro’s industry-leading support of global ocean science initiatives like the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) and The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project (Seabed 2030). It also fits with their membership in corporate sustainability programs such as the United Nations Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition.

Key engagements in the Ocean Pavilion

Fugro will participate in and lead several Ocean Pavilion sessions aimed at advancing ocean science and stewardship to support a healthy planet and ocean. Fugro CEO Mark Heine will lead these efforts, providing private-sector leadership on ocean-climate topics, informed through the company’s membership in the Ocean Decade Alliance and partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) to transform the way ocean science data is managed, accessed and shared.

Three key events for Fugro include:

  • December 3: Science & Partnerships for Climate Action through the Ocean Decade. Organised by the Ocean Decade and IOC/UNESCO, Heine will participate in this half-day session, which will showcase progress to date in the Ocean Decade, review the remaining priorities and challenges and outline future perspectives on contributions to national, regional and global climate policy frameworks for mitigation and adaptation.
  • December 4: The Role of industry in the Ocean Decade Data Enterprise. Organised by Fugro, Heine will facilitate this panel featuring experts from IOC/UNESCO, the UN Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition, Van Oord and the UK-based National Oceanography Centre. It will highlight the work of the Ocean Decade Corporate Data Group, which is co-chaired by Fugro and IOC/UNESCO to develop strategies, equitable frameworks and best practices for companies to provide public access to their private ocean data.
  • December 5: Working Towards Advancing Net-Positive Impact on Biodiversity in Offshore Renewable Energy. Organised by Fugro, Heine will introduce the session and participate as a panellist in a discussion moderated by The Nature Conservancy, alongside representatives from the UN Global Compact Ocean Stewardship Coalition and Ørsted. The discussion will explore both private-sector innovation and public-private partnership perspectives, delving into the challenges and opportunities associated with positive biodiversity impacts of offshore renewable energy.

Leadership thoughts

Speaking on Fugro’s role at COP28, Heine stated: “As a leading member of the ocean business community, our engagement at COP28 is both a privilege and a responsibility. By actively participating in these global discussions, we aim to drive positive change, not just within our organization, but across the industries we serve and the regions where we work. Sustainability isn’t just a concept for us; it’s a fundamental part of our identity.”

David Millar, Fugro’s Government Accounts Director added: “Fugro is deeply committed to advancing ocean science for a safe and liveable world, delivering Geo-data solutions that support science based action and informed policy decisions. Our work extends beyond data and technology; it’s about safeguarding our oceans, understanding their complexities and working hand-in-hand with global partners to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.”

Additional COP28 activities

Fugro will participate in multiple other COP28 activities. For Heine, this includes a TED-talk style Ocean Climate Spotlight on 5 December in the Ocean Decade + OceanX Pavilion, which is also located inside the ‘Blue Zone’. Heine’s talk will emphasise industry’s vital role in the Ocean Decade, highlighting the importance of data sharing.


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