Turning blue economy goals into practical actions

26 March 2021

6 minute read

Protecting and sustaining our oceans and the blue economy is central to Barclays’ commitment to both the Paris Agreement and our goal of becoming a net zero bank by 2050.

We cannot fulfil our blue economy aims alone. So we partner with leading marine organisations both to provide support and importantly, develop our understanding of the role we can play. We identify areas of shared interest then work to connect our networks and clients with those organisations.

Below we highlight three efforts where we invite further collaboration.

Monaco Ocean Week

Improving the relationship between oceans and humanity requires a range of stakeholders – international experts, the scientific community, voluntary sector, public authorities, and private actors.

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco recognised the need to convene and mobilise this community by helping establish Monaco Ocean Week. This event gives leading ocean stakeholders valuable opportunities to share key findings on the marine environment and promote action to preserve the oceans.

Barclays Private Bank Monaco is a proud partner of Monaco Ocean Week 2021. Our support reflects both our commitment to the blue economy and to the Principality, being one of the first international financial institutions to enter Monaco.

Our involvement gives our clients access to the range of thoughtful, inspiring, and technical sessions on topics ranging from renewable energy in yachts, using seaweed to restore ocean health, or reducing plastics in the Mediterranean.

Our partnership also reflects our belief in the importance of financial capital, particularly private investment, in transforming the ocean economy into a sustainable one. As we highlighted, in our article The big blue opportunity and the panel session at this year’s event  ‘From blue economy to blue finance’, investors have critical roles as well as attractive financial opportunities in this sector.

Blue Marine Foundation

The Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) is a charity dedicated to restoring ocean health by addressing overfishing, one of the world’s biggest environmental problems. BLUE aims to see at least 30% of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030, and the other 70% managed responsibly by creating marine protected areas (MPA), restoring vital habitats and establishing better models of fishing.

Barclays shares the vision of ‘a healthy ocean, forever, for everyone’. It is why we have formed a three-year partnership with BLUE supporting key programmes to help protect, sustain and restore the ocean.

One such project is BLUE’s Restoration Programme. This aims to build momentum towards widespread rewilding of UK seas, returning European sturgeon to UK waters and proving the importance of ‘blue carbon’ marine habitats that help to capture and store atmospheric carbon.

Additionally, we are supporting the creation of the Atlantic’s largest non-take MPA, off Ascension Island. Here, our contribution will also be used to structure an endowment fund to provide an income in perpetuity for the local community.

Impact Agora

Visibility of blue economy investment opportunities remains limited compared to the attention the green economy receives. Similarly, early-stage impact companies and funds who are often at the leading edge of solution development struggle to find the right investors, even as those investors are looking for high-quality projects.

Recognising this market failure, Barclays has partnered with Delio, a private markets software fintech. Together, we have created Impact Agora, a marketplace where institutional investors can connect and share their impact deals and funds with each other.

Launched in mid-2020, Impact Agora has already attracted over 80 members from 12 countries. During the pandemic, the technology platform and community has allowed members to reach across traditional physical boundaries to help new and existing players find exciting early-stage ventures and funds.

For Monaco Ocean Week, Impact Agora went ‘blue’ and highlighted its ocean-economy members to raise awareness of the sector and stimulate discussions about potential collaborations. Monaco Ocean Week has provided a further stimulus, uniting ocean economy ventures and investors.

Impact Agora invites potential new members wishing to explore opportunities for the ocean and beyond to engage with its thriving ecosystem.

Join us on this critical mission

The task of preserving the blue economy and combatting wider climate challenges requires a collective effort. Barclays is committed to this cause. We are rallying our network through partnerships and sponsorships; sharing investment ideas; and opening doors to the exciting, yet critical world of blue economy and ecosystem.

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