100 Nations Come Together & Pledge to Save Oceans from Plastic Pollution & Illegal Fishing

Representatives of more than 100 countries came together and pledged to take necessary measures to preserve our oceans from human harm, including a joint fight against plastic pollution, illegal fishing, and improved protection of the international waters.

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, hosted the high-level session of the One Ocean Summit and said that this was a decisive year and that it’s high time to make strong and clear commitments. 

John Kerry, the US climate envoy, stated that the ocean makes life possible and produces more than 50 percent of the oxygen that we breathe. The ocean and climate are connected and they’re one. 

Oceans Are Life, They Need to Be Protected 

The 27 EU states and the other 16 states agreed to regulate the sustainable use of the high seas by the end of this year. These are the waters outside any one country’s jurisdiction and their biodiversity needs to be preserved.

Ursula von der Leye, the president of the European Commission, said during the summit that they’re close, but they need to have the treaty signed in 2022. 

The hope is to have a fourth and final round of UN negotiations and reach a final agreement in New York in March. Peggy Kalas from the High Seas Alliance, stated that the announcement was a timely and crucial commitment to the protection of the global commons. 

According to Greenpeace France’s Francois Chartier, the activists expect vital measures on the mechanisms of conservation and governance. 

Chartier emphasized that though 30 countries signed the so-called 30×30 coalition launched in January 2021 so that 30 percent of the world’s land and the sea is protected by 2030, there’s a lack of clarifications on the level of protection for the included marine areas.

International Efforts to Fight Off Plastic Pollution

The US stated that they will support opening talks in the UN for an international deal on plastic pollution and throw the weight behind the EU27 and around 10 other countries.

The EBRD joined the EIB and the Italian, Spanish, German, and French development banks in a clean oceans initiative to lower the 9 m tonnes of plastic that pollute our oceans every year. 

They pledged 4 bn Euros of finance by 2025.

Columbia and France announced their blue carbon coalition which aims to help finance the restoration of coastal ecosystems like seagrass beds, mangroves, and salt marshes able of absorbing and storing big amounts of carbon.