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History In the Making; Is it Enough? A Young Ocean Leader’s Take on New York Climate Week

Updated: Mar 7

New York Climate Week 2023 was historic! I’m reflecting on a week full of climate action and ocean innovation along with some world-changing commitments for our blue planet!

Here are my top 5 takeaways and actions you can take to support a growing movement of ocean stewards:

UN-Recognized Ocean Advocate Bodhi Patil

1.) The era of solutionism is here.

My generation is not only calling out the largest polluters, we are calling in a breadth of problem solvers.

With over 75,000 people, led by young environmental leaders marching to end fossil fuels, we are showing the world that an equitable and just transition to renewable energy is possible. Gen-Z is also offering some of the most innovative energy solutions to make this transition possible.

Learn more here.

2.) The power of the ocean in the fight against the climate crisis is undeniable.

With over 81 countries signing onto the High Seas Treaty, the ocean is finally getting the attention it deserves.

We know that the ocean is the largest carbon sink and sustainer of all life on earth, so let’s treat her like that. After 20 years of BBNJ negotiations, the Race to Ratification of the High Seas Treaty is on!

This treaty to establish large-scale marine protected areas in the high seas will revolutionize ocean conservation and help reach the goals of protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030!

Learn more here.

UN-Recognized Ocean Advocate and Aspen Future Climate LeaderBodhi Patil

3.) Finance is flowing into ocean and biodiversity protection.

However, to fill the 1.5 Billion dollar funding gap that SDG 14 (Life Below Water) faces every year, we need more public-private partnerships and investment!

This is especially needed for youth-led ocean-climate solutions which only receive a fraction of the funding necessary to drive systemic change world leaders call for.

Meeting biodiversity targets as outlined by the Kumming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework will require at least $200 billion per year from all types of funders to restore nature. The time for new innovative funding mechanisms is now.

I had a chance to call for direct investment on behalf of Gen Z during NY Climate Week - learn more about these bold finance commitments.

4.) Big Ocean States on the frontlines of climate change are being recognized and supported as ocean heroes.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) host the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world and are sinking underwater due to sea level rise.

The newly launched SIDS Restoration Flagship aims to strengthen coastal resilience and marine conservation through a connected “ridge to reef” conservation approach.

A Multi-Partner Trust Fund was recently established to accelerate the most innovative approaches to coastal regeneration including through the restoration of blue natural capital, like mangroves and seagrass ecosystems, which operate as blue carbon warriors.

Learn more about the new initiative here.

UN-Recognized Oceans Advocate Bodhi Patil

5.) There are so many reasons to have hope about our shared future.

Young leaders are pushing for super collaboration on ocean solutions and it’s working, because many organizations are finally creating an abundant operating system rather than sustaining a competitive mindset.

Intergenerational collaboration is becoming a requirement amongst governments, businesses, and organizations.

Values-driven climate work led by young BIPOC changemakers is increasingly recognized, funded, and awarded at the highest international levels.

Some notable organizations making this happen include Toms of Maine, Time for Better, The Ocean Race, 776 Foundation, The Global Environment Facility, Pew-Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, and countless others that meaningfully support my generation in solving the greatest problem humanity has ever faced!

On behalf of Gen-Z, I only have one simple call-to-action for you today.

Please support an emerging young person to grow into the ocean-climate guardian they need to be to heal a broken world.

My fellow solutionists, peers, and global climate community would be beyond grateful for your mentorship, financial support, expertise, paid internships, and opportunities to be in C-suite & executive board positions.

If you truly support the youth then lend a helping hand to the generation that will create a healthy planet for us all!

And ask yourself, what will my planetary legacy be?

Written by Bodhi Patil. Learn more about my work as an Ocean-Climate Solutionist here:

About the Author:

Bodhi is a UN-recognized, award-winning GenZ ocean-climate “Solutionist” dedicated to improving the interconnectedness between ocean health and human health. He is the Founder & CEO of InnerLight, empowering a generation to build resilience from the inside out for people and planetary wellbeing. He is co-creator/cofounder of Ocean Uprise and SeaDragon Studios and advises several love-based climate organizations on a mission to protect our blue planet. He has been featured by the United Nations, Forbes, Economist Impact, Wildlife Conservation Society, Oceanic Global, and has presented to world leaders at over 10 global climate conferences. Connect with him and learn more about his mission here.


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