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S&Ds want strong measures to ensure that oceans contribute to a sustainable development


16 Jan 2018


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

Strasbourg, 16 January 2018

The oceans, which cover three quarters of the earth’s surface, are our strongest allies against climate change. As stated by the UN during the Paris Climate Summit, they play a vital role in the global climate system, generating oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
That is why the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today supported a report calling for strong measures to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

S&D spokesperson on the environment, Miriam Dalli MEP, said:
"It is important to recognise the human impact on oceans, whose activities have resulted in increasing levels of greenhouse gases, sea level rises and significant leakage of plastics in the Mediterranean Sea and worldwide.
“It has also resulted in increased marine litter, which kills ocean life and threatens our health. Micro-plastics are entering the food chain with yet unknown consequences, posing new potential threats to animal and human health.
“It is the duty of all member states to acknowledge the important role our oceans and seas play to provide a sustainable livelihood for people living in coastal communities.
“The first step to tackling these issues is by collaborating with Ocean Partnerships in order to achieve an international ocean governance.”
S&D spokesperson on this issue, Tiemo Wölken MEP, said:
“Oceans offer a potential for the economy and food security. But, the socio-economical potential of the oceans will be maintained only if we exploit it in a careful and cautious manner and if the marine ecosystems are preserved in terms of habitat protection and mitigation of the climate change impacts, in particular in terms of water acidification and warming. The shipping sectors plays a key role here - greenhouse gas emissions, but also nitrogen oxide and sulphur emissions need to be tackled more effectively.
“The other crucial threat we must urgently tackle is marine litter. Enormous masses of litter are ending up in the ocean worldwide posing environmental, economic and health problems, not to mention the losses on biodiversity. We drastically need to reduce overall waste production, increase recycling, and improve product designs.”



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