The Monaco Ocean Week, organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Oceanographic institute – Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Scientific Insitute and the Monaco Yacht Club with the support of the Prince’s Government, was the opportunity to interview the financial expert in the blue economy, Damian Payiatakis, Head of Sustainable & Impact Investing at Barclays – sponsor of this event.

Monaco Ocean Week 2022

1. Externalities costs: To what extent do you think externalities affecting the oceans are adequately priced?

Negative externalities can be seen in every part of the world. And while oceans are critical to our survival and the livelihoods of millions, sadly they are a classic case of externalities neither being accounted for, nor paid for. At present, they are under threat from human activities and associated climate change.

Oceans are becoming warmer and more acidic. Rising sea levels are affecting coastal and island communities. Marine life is being damaged and, in some places, vanishing. Physical effects of storms are becoming more frequent and severe.

All of these effects are generally very difficult to assign to a single source – making attribution and remediation challenging. To add extra complexity, given territorial sovereignty ends twelve nautical miles out and exclusive economic zones two hundred miles from land, the vast majority of our ocean is no country’s right – nor its responsibility.

Ultimately, we collectively have to take action to protect and regenerate our oceans.

Focus on Monaco Ocean Week 2022 with Damian Payiatakis

2. Do you consider sustainable projects in blue economy complex to identify? What makes sustainability of blue projects different from the green ones?

Originating ocean opportunities can certainly be more challenging, given they’ve had less historic visibility and attention.

While nearly everyone has personal connections and positive memories associated with the ocean, we still have some way to go in raising profile of its importance to planetary health, as well as it being a thematic opportunity for investments.

We’ve found that by identifying ocean initiatives and intermediaries, like those participating in Monaco Ocean Week, it’s possible for investors to source opportunities that already are connected and supported by deep sector specialists.

Focus on Monaco Ocean Week 2022 with Damian Payiatakis

3. Can you tell us more about Monaco Ocean Week, and how you found your visit?

We supported the recent Monaco Ocean Week through our partnership with the Foundation of Prince Albert II to safeguard ocean bio-diversity and maintain a stable climate. It’s just one example of how we’re honoring Barclays’ longstanding commitment to the Principality.

For me, this year’s Monaco Ocean Week was inspiring firstly as we were able to meet in person, and also by the addition of a day focused on Ocean Innovators. The Foundation’s successful efforts to convene leading entrepreneurs and investors added a commercial and action-oriented dimension to the conversations and dynamic. While governments, scientists, and philanthropy undoubtedly will continue to play important roles in safeguarding ocean bio-diversity, incorporating ventures providing commercial solutions adds another critical dimension to the systemic challenge of ocean health and sustainability.

Focus on Monaco Ocean Week 2022 with Damian Payiatakis

4. What opportunities do you think there are for investors in blue finance; food, transport, energy, others?

There are opportunities across a range of sectors, but they are at different stages of development and present different types of opportunities for investors.

For example, offshore wind production is at a later stage of development, but is still growing quickly. In January, the Scottish government auctioned rights to build 25GW of offshore wind which had an estimated construction value of £25 billion. Then, following this in April, the UK increased its overall ambition for offshore wind by another 10GW, to target 50GW by 2030. Clearly this is an established market at large scale levels of investment.

On the other side of the coin, we’re also seeing the emergence of new sectors like blue carbon, i.e. carbon captured by the world’s ocean and coastal ecosystems. We know that oceans have the potential to absorb around a third of global CO2 emissions. There are range of sequestration options under development: mangroves, seagrass, seaweed, oysters, salt-marshes, seabeds, etc. The emergence of these projects are currently typically at a smaller scale and investment value – in the millions not billions.

And lastly, in between the well-established and the emerging are a wide range of solutions and companies across sectors, from tourism, to fishing and aquaculture, blue food, plastic, shipping, and ports

Focus on Monaco Ocean Week 2022 with Damian Payiatakis

Source: Damian Payiatakis – Head of Sustainable & Impact Investing at Barclays