The French president, Emmanuel Macron, hosting the high-level session of the One Ocean summit on Friday, said 2022 was “a decisive year, and we should take here, in Brest, clear and firm commitments.”
The US climate envoy, John Kerry, said it was “the ocean that makes life on Earth possible, produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe – and even that is at risk. The ocean and climate are inextricably linked. They’re one and the same.”
The 27 EU states and 16 others agreed to pursue a global agreement by the end of the year to regulate the sustainable use of the high seas – waters lying outside any one country’s jurisdiction – and preserve their biodiversity.
“We are so close, but we need to push [to get the treaty signed in 2022],” the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, told the summit. The hope is for a fourth and final round of UN negotiations to reach agreement in New York in March.