Tackling the climate emergency and protecting our oceans go hand-in-hand

(Eco Business, 29 Aug 2019) Scientists are clear that we need to protect at least 30 per cent of our global oceans by 2030 if we are to safeguard wildlife and to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The climate emergency is now a lived reality around the world. Weather extremes have dominated 2019 as if the planet wanted to underline the urgency of the upcoming climate summit in September.

This time, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked governments to come not with finely crafted speeches, but with real action plans. With students striking globally every week, the world is watching as Greta Thunberg sailed in to New York to deliver their demand for climate action now, their demand for a future.

We need drastic reductions in the use of fossil fuels and to accelerate our global transition to carbon neutral societies. But to fight climate change we also need healthy oceans.

The oceans naturally take in huge amounts of carbon dioxide and are a key defence against the worsening impacts of climate change. On his recent visit to the Pacific, the UN chief argued that “to address the intertwined challenges of climate change and ocean health, we need smart and far-reaching steps.”

That’s absolutely right, and one key step that is needed is a bold new Global Ocean Treaty, which is being negotiated this month at the UN.

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Eco Business, 29 Aug 2019: Tackling the climate emergency and protecting our oceans go hand-in-hand