The oceans, the blue economy and implications for climate change

Hosted by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building)


Dr Joanna Post

Dr Joanna Post

Ishbel Matheson

Dr John Siddorn

Dr John Siddorn


Dr Siva Thambisetty

Dr Siva Thambisetty



Professor Elizabeth Robinson

Professor Elizabeth Robinson


Professor Elizabeth Robinson

Dr Darian McBain

Many conversations about sustainability and climate-change focus on activities on land – the green part of our planet. This misses a vital part of the puzzle, the role that our oceans play.

The blue economy is estimated to be worth over US$1.5 trillion per year globally, providing over 30 million jobs and supplying protein to over three billion people. With new large-scale industrial activities, such as offshore renewable energy as well as the growing interest in ocean mining and marine biotechnology, the oceans have moved to the top of political and economic agendas. This event will bring together leading voices in the field for a discussion on the risks to the health of our oceans and the opportunities in the transition to a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient blue economy. The speakers will talk at first hand about key negotiations, such as the UN High Seas Treaty or the Biodiversity Conference COP15; scientific work in the ocean; the role of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in bringing hundreds of nations to one table; as well as the challenges, priorities, and opportunities to make the oceans and the blue economy an effective part of a sustainable future.

Meet our speakers and chair

Joanna Post is the head of the Ocean Observations and Services Section and Director of Global Ocean Observing System at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. Before this, she was the programme management officer at the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where she led the support for ocean-related activities and engagement, including as the secretariat’s UN-Oceans focal point. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.

Darian McBain (@DarianMcBain) is Visiting Professor in Practice with the London School of Economics and Political Science (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment), Senior Associate with the University of Oxford, Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance, and adjunct Senior Lecturer with Integrated Sustainability Analysis at the University of Sydney. Darian is the CEO and Founder of Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer Asia (OCSO Asia).

Ishbel Matheson is Chief Communications Officer in the Marine Stewardship Council. Ishbel began her career with the BBC, spending an extended period as an Africa correspondent. She subsequently worked as Communications Director for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including Save the Children and the Overseas Development Institute.  More recently, Ishbel worked for a FinTech company called WorldRemit, an online money transfer service that provides international remittance services to migrant communities around the world.

John Siddorn is the Chief Scientist and Director of Data, Science & Technology at the National Oceanography Centre. Since joining NOC in 2020, John has championed the embedding of digital approaches to furthering science. Prior to joining NOC, John held positions at the Met Office where he was Head of the Ocean Forecasting R&D Department group and co-chair of the National Partnership for Ocean Prediction. His personal research was on developing ocean models with a focus on interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, and understanding how those interactions underpin predictability for climate and for high impact eve

Siva Thambisetty (@SivaThambisetty) is Associate Professor of Law at LSE Law School. She holds degrees from the National Law School of India and the University of Oxford and has been a principal investigator on a EU Horizon 2020 grant to study the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol as part of the INMARE project on Marine Biodiversity. She acted as an expert to the Chair of the G77 and China Group of 134 developing countries at the UN for a new Treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). Her article Protecting the high seas is available in LSE's Research for the World magazine. 

Elizabeth Robinson (@EJZRobinson66) is the Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (@gri_lse) is a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research and training on climate change and the environment.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBlueEconomy

Podcast & Video


A video of this event is available to watch at The oceans, the blue economy and implications for climate change

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

LSE Blogs

Many speakers at LSE events also write for LSE Blogs, which present research and critical commentary accessibly for a public audience. Follow British Politics and Policy, the Business Review, the Impact BlogEuropean Politics and Policy and the LSE Review of Books to learn more about the debates our events series present.

Live captions

Automated live captions are available at this live event. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription and is not 100% accurate.


Photographs taken on behalf of LSE are often used on our social media accounts, website and publications. At events, photographs could include broad shots of the audience and lecture theatre, of speakers during the talk, and of audience members as they participate in the Q&A.

If you are photographed participating in an event Q&A but would not like your photograph to be stored for future use, please contact


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1 week after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

WIFI Access

LSE has now introduced wireless for guests and visitors in association with 'The Cloud', also in use at many other locations across the UK. If you are on campus visiting for the day or attending a conference or event, you can connect your device to wireless. See more information and create an account at Join the Cloud.
Visitors from other participating institutions are encouraged to use eduroam. If you are having trouble connecting to eduroam, please contact your home institution for assistance.
The Cloud is only intended for guest and visitor access to wifi. Existing LSE staff and students are encouraged to use eduroam instead.
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.