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In brief

COP26: Prince Albert II calls for real commitment to protecting the oceans

Cop26
Gaetan Luci / Prince's Palace

The “Because the Ocean” initiative is a reminder that protecting the climate requires protecting the oceans. 

During the first day of COP26, on October 31, Prince Albert II launched the third “Because the Ocean” declaration, alongside many other international leaders, at a special event held at Edinburgh University.

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The declaration calls for greater recognition of the links between oceans, climate and biodiversity as well as more ambitious measures to protect the oceans and combat global warming.

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Long-term commitments

The signatories must therefore commit to strive for the acceleration of efforts to phase out greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. They also undertake to further the development of clean offshore renewable energy sources, as well as advocate for strengthening public and private sources of support for climate adaptation and mitigation in the ocean. Finally, the signatories must commit to working with the IPCC to best achieve these goals.

After recalling the essential role of the ocean in climate regulation, as it absorbs more than 25% of CO2 emissions and 90% of the excess heat due to global warming, the Sovereign Prince declared: “We need to explore the role of the ocean fully and increase our knowledge of it. To develop conservation tools, to strengthen the resources employed to promote it, to improve its governance and to take greater account of ocean issues at all UN negotiations”.

Prince Albert II also expressed, on 2 November, his regret at the delay in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement and addressing the climate challenge.   However, he remains hopeful and recalled that today “solutions exist that protect nature and enable advances for mankind.”

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>> SEE ALSO: World Conservation Congress: Prince Albert’s rousing speech on protecting the oceans