Future of the blue planet on the table

“No country can succeed alone in reversing the worrying trends that we face in our Oceans today. For the past two years, we have shown that we will only achieve safe and sustainably managed oceans through diplomacy, common rules and international cooperation. There are many challenges ahead. For this reason, the EU will continue to pursue strong and united ocean action.” – Federica Mogherini


Following adoption of a Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance two years ago, considerable progress has been made in improving international ocean governance, as announced in a progress report on ocean governance  last week. The 50 actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans in Europe and round the world are all successfully being implemented, and the work will continue.

EUR 590 million have so far been engaged under EU development policy to promote better ocean governance with non-EU countries and over EUR 500 million on marine research under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The blue ocean economy offers significant opportunities for sustainable, innovative growth and decent jobs.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Oceans make up 70% of the planet and absorb 25% of the global C02 emissions. I am happy that with our agenda for the future of our oceans, EU’s role in oceans’ management has strengthened and action has intensified. But the challenges that the oceans face are as big as the oceans themselves – climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, overfishing. We need to continue our work.”
Ahead of today’s High-level conference on the future of oceans, at the European Parliament, President Tajani stated: “The European Parliament wants to give an immediate response to the millions of young people who have taken to the streets to attract attention to climate change. We are with you. The European Parliament is at the forefront of the fight for our planet. We face a crisis with historic social, economic, political and environmental consequences. Our institution believes that economic prosperity, global industrial competitiveness and climate policy are complementary. We cannot continue to exploit and pollute our oceans and have fought to include their conservation and intelligent use in the UN Millennium Development Goals. By 2050, plastic waste will outweigh the fish in our oceans. A zero-tolerance policy against marine plastic pollution is essential and it is why the European Parliament voted to ban single-use plastics. Using non-plastic substitutes means cleaner oceans and billions of euros in savings.”
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