‘We face a global emergency’ over oceans: UN chief sounds the alarm at G7 Summit event

G7 Canada/Xavier Dachez
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is greeted by officals as he arrives in Canada for the G7 meeting.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Unless there is a change of course, the amount of plastic waste in the world’s oceans will outweigh the fish that live in them, by 2050, said the United Nations Secretary-General on Saturday, declaring that the world now faces a “global emergency” over the oceans.

“The facts are clear.  Our oceans are a mess,” said António Guterres at an outreach event, that was part of the Group of Seven – or G7 – Summit of industrialized nations, taking place over two days, in Charlevoix, Canada.

The G7 group of advanced economies, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Plastic waste is now found in the most remote areas of the planet.  It kills marine life and is doing major harm to communities that depend on fishing and tourism,” he added.

Pointing out that one mass of plastic in the Pacific is now bigger than France, Mr. Guterres welcomed the G7 Plastics Charter, agreed on Saturday, which is being seen by some observers as a Paris-style watershed moment for cleaning up ocean garbage, referencing the 2015 Agreement on climate change.

“But we all need to do so much more,” Mr. Guterres underscored, “not just on plastic waste but on all ocean issues.”

“Make no mistake, we are in a battle. And we are losing on every front,” he stressed.

The UN chief painted a picture of fish stocks being crippled by overfishing, vast coastal dead zones from pollution and untreated waste being discharged into the sea.

“And, to compound these issues, we have the growing impacts of climate change,” he asserted.

Ocean acidification is disrupting the marine food chain and record-level ocean temperatures are killing coral reefs and creating fiercer, more frequent storms.

Moreover, 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometres of a coast – leaving them vulnerable to storms, sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Low-lying island nations and many coastal cities are in jeopardy of inundation, the Secretary-General spelled out.

“Thankfully,” continued Mr. Guterres “we have a battle plan.”

“Our guide is the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs], and especially Goal 14 with its 10 targets from addressing marine pollution and acidification, to ending overfishing and protecting ecosystems,” he elaborated.

“Our legal framework is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – the world’s ‘constitution for the oceans,’” he added.

Mr. Guterres noted that while last year’s Ocean Conference at UN Headquarters registered more than 1,300 commitments and partnerships, none of the initiatives and declarations are worth anything “unless we accept that we face a global emergency.”

“And that is why I am here today.  To sound the alarm.  To inject a sense of real urgency in your deliberations and decision-making,” he said.

“Your leadership is needed now, more than ever – on combatting land-based pollution; on creating marine protected areas; on reviving fisheries; on building the resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities, and, especially, on climate change,” he added.

He flagged that if our seas and oceans are not protected, and we lose the battle against climate change, all the assumptions on which our policy-making has been based “will be worthless”.

“Take seriously these threats to our global environment and understand that our collective future and security is at stake,” he concluded.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU decides “in absentia” of civil society

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

South Eurozone urgently needs fairer distribution of taxation burden

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Neelie Kroes at the European Young Innovators Forum: Unconvention 2014

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

EU cracks under the weight of its policy on the Ukraine-Russia nub

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

Chart of the day: These are the cities where the World Cup threatens productivity the most

Trade in fake Italian goods costs economy billions of euros

At last a solid base for the European Banking Union

A young doctor from Glasgow reports: in the UK refugees are left to rot

“Airbnb and YouTube are two great examples of a crowd based capitalism”, key stakeholders outline the boundaries of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Davos

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

The cost of healthcare is rising in ASEAN. How can nations get the most for their money?

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Commission hardens its stance against carmakers ensuring emissions reductions targets

Syrian Refugees in Germany face distinctly different challenges than those in Lebanon

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Access to health in the developped and developing world

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

A new arrangement between Eurozone’s haves and have-nots

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

EU-wide penalties for money laundering: deal with Council

Digital Single Market: New EU rules for online subscription services

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

EU Commission: Banking and energy conglomerates don’t threaten competition!

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Commission facilitates the activities of ‘merchants of labour’

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

Sweden well ahead in digital transformation yet has more to do

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

The COP22 is under full deployment while Donald Trump threatens openly to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement

India m2m + iot Forum Hosts Successful 4th Editions of India Smart Cities Forum and India Smart Villages Forum

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Rohingya cannot become ‘forgotten victims,’ says UN chief urging world to step up support

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s