EU commits €1bn to protect the ocean

It renewed its pledge towards international ocean governance, with almost €500m to be invested in research, development and innovation in seed funding over the 2021-2023 period

Big Zero Report 2022

The EU has made a commitment to invest €1 billion (£0.82bn) as part of its efforts to protect the ocean.

It renewed its pledge towards international ocean governance at the ‘Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in Palau last week, which drew global partners to identify solutions to sustainably manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change and safeguard its health.

Almost €500 million (£413m) over the 2021-2023 period will go towards research, development and innovation in seed funding, i.e. to start a business, for the Horizon Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’.

The ‘Mission Ocean’ will address the ocean and waters as one and play a key role in achieving climate neutrality and restoring nature, supporting the EU objectives of protecting 30% of the member states’ sea area as well as restoring ecosystems, preventing and eliminating pollution by reducing plastic litter at sea and supporting the development of a sustainable and circular blue economy.

A further €55 million of funding over two years will strengthen marine environmental monitoring as well as monitoring of climate change through its satellite programmes, Copernicus and WEkEO service.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries said: “The sum the EU is committing today is significant but not as significant as the role that the ocean plays for our very existence. It provides us clean air, regulates the climate, hosts a large part of biodiversity on Earth and is key for our economy. The ocean is bringing all these benefits to us and we need to protect it. Our future depends upon it.”

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