The European Commission unveiled the European Green Deal on 11 December, the flagship agenda driving Europe’s ecological transition to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Oceana welcomes that the ocean is part of the document, as marine habitats mitigate climate crisis by storing CO2, while ocean restoration and protection are fundamental for building resilience to rising temperatures.
Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans will lead the delivery of the European Green Deal, working alongside Environment, Oceans and fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius.
“European citizens expect the EU to deliver. Now is the time to act. We cannot stop climate crisis without saving the ocean. The Green Deal is the first step to put the sea at the core of EU policy. Now, the European Commission and national fisheries ministers should demonstrate their seriousness by stopping overfishing next week and setting sustainable fishing limits by 2020, as required by EU law,” said Oceana in Europe Executive Director Pascale Moehrle.
Oceana urged the European Commission to include ocean-based solutions mitigating climate crisis in the European Green Deal: stop overfishing, include marine ecosystems in Biodiversity Strategy 2030, and expand the protection of our waters from the current 12% to 30% by 2030. Oceana is present at the UN Climate Change conference (COP25) in Madrid, calling for international protection of “blue forests” for their importance in storing CO2.