A high-level conference on the future of the oceans was held today in the European Parliament, attended by over 1200 political leaders, researchers and experts in the field.
In his keynote speech, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said:
“Clean seas and coasts are a unique global economic, commercial and tourist resource. But if we do not act now, if we continue to exploit and pollute our oceans irresponsibly, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. The European Parliament is at the forefront of the battle for environmental sustainability. We are giving concrete answers to the millions of young people who took to the streets to ask for the protection of the planet and its oceans. We are on their side.”
President Tajani recalled that the European Parliament also calls for greater efforts in terms of investment:
“The European Parliament has adopted a directive banning this type of plastic from 2021. In addition, we have launched a circular economy package that aims to change the way we produce, making it more sustainable and encouraging the recycling and reuse of waste. Our goal is to recycle at least 1 million tonnes of plastic. In environmental terms, this would be tantamount to removing as many as 1 million cars from the roads.”
“The battle for the planet is also fought by providing the necessary resources. The European Parliament has asked to increase by 50% the funds of the new Horizon Europe programme, bringing the total to 120 billion euros, to also focus on clean technology and the circular economy. We call for at least 30% of all actions in the next EU budget 2021-2027, and 35% of Horizon Europe, to be in support of sustainability,” concluded the President of the EP.