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Blue Economy

Ocean risk or opportunity? - Is the Blue Economy investible?

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What is this research about?

Are the world's investors aware of ocean-related risks to their portfolios? Are they acting on the opportunities provided by this emerging investment topic?

The ocean economy is expected to grow at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, and the economic value of global ocean assets is estimated to already be at over US$ 24 trillion, making the Blue Economy the seventh-largest economy by GDP globally. However, with ocean health and impacts tightly linked to the threats of climate change and other anthropogenic threats, such as over-fishing, habitat destruction and pollution, a large amount of capital is at risk. 

This high-impact research project is intended to gauge investor interest in ocean-related investments, and opportunities around the sustainable Blue Economy.


Surveying leading global investors on the 'investability' of ocean-related sectors, the research will provide a unique insight into the present and future state of investor action on SDG 14.


The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles

The finance and investment community has a strong role to play in driving the transition from a traditional, extraction-based ocean economy towards a sustainable Blue Economy, but in a complex environment which already carries significant business risk there is limited guidance available on how to act.

In 2017, a partnership between the European Commission, WWF, the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has developed a set of voluntary Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles. These principles, elaborated in consultation with private and public financial institutions, intend to:

  • promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 14 (Life Below Water)

  • set out ocean-specific standards while avoiding to duplicate existing frameworks for responsible investment

  • comply with IFC Performance Standards and EIB Environmental and Social Principles and Standards.

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