EU to launch Ocean Tracker and make 22 new commitments

The pledges, worth almost €540m, aim to tackle key ocean challenges such as the impact of climate change as well as drive innovation

The European Union is to launch a new interactive map, dubbed The Ocean Tracker, to follow the commitments, made by governments, businesses and NGOs, worth more than €10 billion (£8.6bn) so far.

It will also announce 22 new commitments for “clean, healthy and safe” oceans at the 2019 edition of Our Ocean conference this week.

The pledges, worth almost €540 million (£466m), aim to tackle key ocean challenges such as the impact of climate change, strengthen the EU’s knowledge base, drive innovation and promote the development of the sustainable blue economy within and beyond Europe.

Under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, around €250 million (£216m) will be dedicated to improve the understanding and boost new technologies for sustainable fisheries, tackling marine pollution, decarbonising shipping and promoting renewable energy.

The European Commission will also pledge to contribute to the fight against marine pollution by promoting green shipping and provide more than €100 million (£86m) to promote the further development of a sustainable blue economy.

Around €12.8 million (£11m) will be dedicated to the Copernicus programme on sea ice and climate monitoring to better understand climate change effects in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries, who will represent the EU at this conference and call for increased action for ocean governance said: “Ocean sustainability is a global challenge that needs crosscutting and international action. It is time to take ocean governance to the next level.

“With this new set of commitments and the delivery of The Ocean Tracker, the EU demonstrates its leadership in ocean sustainability.”

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