© Elisabeth Kruger / WWF-US

Ocean Finance

The ocean can be a powerful economic engine, but only if managed sustainably. WWF and partners are working to rethink the business-as-usual approach by redirecting mainstream finance into sustainable and restorative development pathways. This involves rejecting harmful practices and advancing nature-based solutions that benefit people and the planet. Investing in a sustainable "blue" economy can reduce biodiversity loss, build resilient communities and mitigate the effects of climate change.
PROVIDES social and economic benefits for current and futures generations
© Jules Jal / WWF
© Antonio Busiello
© Global Warming Images / WWF
Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles

The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles provide a global framework to guide investment decisions that can build social, environmental and economic resilience. These investment guidelines not only future-proof banks and companies; they also benefit coastal communities, advancing sustainable development where it is needed most.

Target: By 2030, the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles are mainstreamed into ocean finance decisions leading to at least US$25 billion being channelled into the sustainable blue economy.

The Blue Futures Initiative aims to reduce environmental, social and economic risks, and build resilience by restoring natural capital. This will be achieved by: 
  • Broad adoption of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles Improved knowledge and awareness of the true value of the ocean’s natural capital, the risks of harmful business-as-usual practices and the benefits of sustainable blue economy development pathways create a tipping point that leads to broad adoption and implementation of the principles by the public and private sector finance community.
  • An enabling environment that reduces risk and builds investor confidence
    Strong and effective national sustainable blue economy strategies are in place, including integrated ecosystem-based management tools and approaches such as marine spatial planning, marine protected areas and community-based natural resources management. A range of enablers such as blended financing, guarantees, insurance, and fiscal and market-based incentives, as well as strategic capacity building, are also fully utilized, explored and piloted.
Value at Risk in the Global Blue Economy

Climate risks are now increasingly recognized as financial risks. The same must be true for risks associated with degradation of our ocean’s natural assets; it’s biodiversity, habitats and ecosystems that contribute so significantly to our economies and society as a whole. 

If we are to secure a sustainable blue economy, we must transition to a net zero, nature-positive global economy that supports sustainable development.

Trillions in assets at risk due to declining ocean health and climate change 

Investors in 66% of listed companies are collectively at risk of losing US$8.4 trillion due to declining ocean health and climate change if business as usual continues. 

Navigating Ocean Risk: Value at Risk in the Global Blue Economy, published by WWF and Metabolic, concludes that the financial sector needs to better assess ocean risks in their portfolios and must pivot from investments that damage the ocean environment to sustainable business models.

A healthy and resilient ocean is vital for long-term economic resilience. At COP26, governments have an opportunity to boost both public and private investment in a sustainable blue economy that underpins a net-zero, nature-positive future. Our new analysis shows that acting now to put sustainable ocean finance at the heart of responsible, low-carbon investment could save trillions, and set a course for lasting prosperity.” — 
Margaret Kuhlow, WWF Finance Practice Lead