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Climate Giants

Planet Earth needs a healthy ocean.
And a healthy ocean needs whales.

Whales offer us hope. These climate giants can play an enormous role in providing a solution to the climate emergency.

The ocean absorbs more carbon and releases more oxygen than all of Earth’s forests combined, and whales help it flourish. But we know a lot more about how trees fight climate change than we do about how whales help. You can support projects that will change that, convincing decision-makers to protect the ocean as if our lives depend on it – because they do. We need to save the whale to save the world.

From November 30th to December 12th, WDC is attending the UN's Climate Change Conference in Dubai to champion the role played by whales in combating the climate crisis.

What are we doing?

WDC's Climate Giants Project aims to fund a series of ground-breaking research initiatives that unlock the secrets of how whales and dolphins benefit the world's climate, biodiversity and economies.  Using the very latest technology the project will gather, articulate and promote new data which transforms the way people perceive whales, and the role they play in all of our futures.

Great whale conveyor belt

This project is helping us understand how whale populations circulate nutrients around the ocean, strengthening our arguments for protection of these remarkable species.

Sperm whales
Collecting humpback whale poo © Sarah Mastroni

Whale pump, Alaska

WDC is helping to fund the University of Alaska Southeast's study to determine the extent to which migratory humpback whales circulate nutrients and carbon in Southeast Alaska and their impact on marine productivity and carbon sequestration, known as the "whale pump".

The next step

WDC has ambitious plans for two innovative research projects that will help our understanding of the role played by whales in the ocean ecosystem and combating climate change.

Blue whale tail

Animating the Ocean

By creating the first computer model of its kind, we will measure and calculate the different ways that marine mammals contribute to the ocean’s health. This allows us to the quantify how much carbon whales and dolphins capture and lock away, enabling us to share understanding of the extent to which they help us tackle climate change.

Life after death

Life After Death is a project which has never been attempted before. We will sink a grey whale carcass to a depth of 890m and monitor it continuously for a minimum of three years.

The results will further our understanding of how whale falls help tackle climate change by identifying the amount of carbon whale carcasses lock away.

Gray whale

How you can support these amazing projects

Individual support

Will you help make a big impact on one of the world’s biggest challenges, by getting behind the world’s biggest creatures? Your support will help the fight to stop whale and dolphin hunting, prevent deaths in nets, end the cruel practice of captivity and create healthy seas where whales and dolphins can thrive.

Become a Climate Giant Hero today from just £3 a month and receive Whale & Dolphin magazine and regular email updates.

Become a Climate Giant Hero with a monthly donation of

Corporate partnership

Whether your company is looking for an environmental organisation to partner with, an exciting option as part of your sustainability efforts or you’re seeking innovative ways to meet your UN Sustainable Development Goals, investing in a safe future for whales through WDC’s Climate Giant Project could be just what you’re looking for!

Packages start at £5,000 + VAT for a year.

Supported by:

Major gifts

Your philanthropic donation to support our work will allow you to have a real impact on the protection of these inspiring creatures, and the habitats they rely on, not just for now, but for future generations.

At WDC we are incredibly grateful for gifts of any size. We define a gift of £5,000 and above as philanthropic.

How do whales support the marine ecosystem?

Restoring blue whales to their pre-whaling numbers would have the same positive impact on the climate as planting more than 280 million trees."

Chris Butler-Stroud, CEO WDC

Scientists have identified two key ways in which whales play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean and planet:

Small cetacean report


A global review of the impact of climate change on whales.

Read our report containing the latest information on how a warming ocean is effecting the lives of whales and dolphins. (published in 2023).

Download the PDF.

Latest climate news and views

We're at COP28 to Save the Whale, Save the World.

We’re at COP28 to save the whale, save the world

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC’s head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to increase protection and reduce harm to whales and dolphins, for their sake and our own. VIEW ALL ED’S BLOGS We can’t save the world without saving the ocean, and we can’t save the ocean without saving whales. That’s why over…

We must protect our non-human allies. Image: Tom Brakefield, aurore murguet, johan63

We’re urging governments to protect all of our climate heroes – CITES

Whales and dolphins are often overlooked by decision-makers, despite playing essential roles in ecosystems that keep every being on Earth alive, including you and me.

Amazon river dolphins. Image: Fernando Trujillo/Fundacion Omacha

Amazon tragedy as endangered river dolphins die in hot water

The climate crisis is accelerating at such an alarming rate that some whale and dolphin populations haven’t got time to adapt. More frequent and severe droughts and heatwaves are threatening the survival of species and ecosystems that are crucial to our own existence. When 155 endangered river dolphins died suddenly in Lake Tefé in Brazil, this heartbreaking event gave us a stark warning of the severity of the situation.