About thirty heads of state and government, half of whom are in Brest, must commit on Friday around Emmanuel Macron to better protect the ocean, which is essential to regulating the climate and rich in biodiversity, but undermined by human activities.
The day after his plan to restore civilian nuclear power, the French president will welcome his counterparts, representatives of the United Nations, the European Union, NGOs, and leaders of European container shipping giants, on site or by video, during a sequence planned to last four hours.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, US climate envoy John Kerry, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country will host COP27 on climate in November, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo of Sousa, who will host the United Nations Ocean Summit in Lisbon at the end of June, and from Expected in Brest.
Other leaders will participate by video or video message, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi or, again, Alassane Ouattara, head kot d. Ivoire.
This meeting comes within the framework of the “One Ocean” summit, which is being organized from Wednesday to Friday in Breton port, within the framework of the French presidency of the European Union.
It gives “the impetus needed to start a critical year 2022 to stop the deterioration of our seas, all our seas, nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface,” Emmanuel Macron notes in his summit presentation.
During the two Wednesdays and Thursdays, devoted to workshops, “we saw practical solutions (…) but we have to go further, faster, because when we talk about global warming, in the Pacific, some islands already have their feet in the water ” , alerted French Polynesia’s Environment Minister, Brest Hermoana Mamamatuayahutapu, to AFP.
Several international events are scheduled between now and the end of the year, which could promote ocean protection: a United Nations meeting on the environment at the end of February which will address the issue of an international agreement on plastics, negotiations in March at the United Nations on a treaty on the high seas, biodiversity and climate and a conference Lisbon.
France hopes that this summit will lead to strong political momentum on several topics: the launch of negotiations for an international treaty to combat plastic pollution, the development of marine reserves, and the outcome of discussions on an international law treaty on the high seas. Or ratify a treaty to improve the safety of fishing vessels.
“Man’s withdrawals must be renewable” In relation to fishing, we must ensure “the role of the ocean in regulating climate is preserved” and “Exploration of the mineral resources of the oceans (..) must not disturb biodiversity”, emphasizes the oceanographer Frenchman Paul Tregor.
For Peter Thompson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, who is in Brest, it is time to “unlock the financing spigot to invest in a sustainable + blue economy”.
Non-governmental organizations, Greenpeace, and Blaine Maire, who consider France, the second naval power in the world, not very exemplary in terms of ocean protection, will demonstrate Friday morning in Brest to denounce the “bluewashing” operation.
France Nature Environnement (FNE) is concerned about France’s desire to explore the mineral-rich deep seabed, with fear that this could lead to industrial exploitation, even marine protected areas that are not ambitious enough. With the Seas in Danger coalition, it also submitted a petition Thursday to denounce the “regular massacre” of dolphins off the French coast, who were caught in fishing gear.