France’s Macron urges world leaders to better protect oceans


LISBON, Portugal (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged other world leaders to better protect the planet’s oceans by adopting an international agreement modeled on the legally binding Paris climate accords.

Macron traveled to Portugal after attending a NATO summit in neighboring Spain to deliver a speech at the UN ocean conference in Lisbon.

Macron acknowledged the failure of world leaders to update an international treaty known as the Convention on the Law of the Sea, High Seas, to include a mechanism that would support ocean conservation and the sustainability of marine life. tackles.

“We’ve been discussing that text for seven years,” Macron said. “Now is the time to get it quickly.”

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface and provide food and livelihood for billions of people. Scientists estimate that 50% to 80% of all life on Earth is below the surface of the oceans and that at least 50% of the oxygen on the planet comes from the oceans, most of which is produced by plankton.

Despite a fourth round of negotiations three months ago, an agreement on the proposed treaty instrument is still not in sight. A fifth round is scheduled for August in New York.

“Together we must set ambitious targets for biodiversity and especially for oceans, as we did with the Paris (climate) agreement,” Macron said, referring to the 2015 treaty that set temperature targets to combat global warming.

Participants in the five-day Lisbon conference are expected to adopt a non-binding statement that could help facilitate the protection and conservation of oceans and their resources, the UN said. The statement was to be confirmed Friday.

France and Costa Rica co-chair an intergovernmental environmental group created in 2019 called the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which now includes 102 countries, Macron said.

“Together we defend the principle of a framework that will enable us to protect at least 30% of the land and sea by 2030,” he said.

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