Oceans and seas threatened by climate change: Council adopts conclusions

Press release from the Council of the European Union

The Council today adopted conclusions on oceans and seas, stressing that climate change is a direct and existential threat to life in oceans and seas globally. It calls for increased policy action at all levels of government to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. It notes with great concern the warming of European regional seas at a higher pace than average.

Member states unanimously stress the need for immediate action against increasing threats on our oceans, seas and coastal areas. The Council invites the Commission to come up with policy options to respond to the alarming findings of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate.

In its conclusions, the Council underlines the importance of

  • sustainably using marine resources
  • sustainable blue economy, and the role of the economic sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts including fisheries, maritime transport and offshore renewable energies
  • enhanced coordination in maritime security including circumpolar meteorological and oceanographic cooperation
  • protecting the Arctic and the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories, given their specific vulnerability to climate change
  • reducing marine litter including plastic waste and microplastics
  • ensuring healthy and resilient oceans
  • protecting the biodiversity of vulnerable marine and coastal ecosystems
  • strengthening research and ocean science.

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Press contacts
Katharina Pausch-Homblé
Press officer
+32 2 281 62 63
+32 470 88 42 96

Date of publication: 19 Nov 2019

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