ENMC declaration: UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21)
Maritime activities have become one of the major and accelerating driving forces of this world and the main lever of European economic growth, thanks to the boom of traditional fields such as maritime transportation, fisheries, offshore oil & gas, shipbuilding and repair… or to the emergence of new maritime industries such as aquaculture, coastal tourism, blue biotechnologies, ocean energy, seabed mining…
Furthermore it is now universally accepted that the future of mankind and of our planet lies in the seas, and their biodiversity. This is true for the economy, the science, the supply of food and energy, the medicine, but also and merely for the climate, since oceans are the largest active carbon sink and oxygen supplier on Earth.And this is the reason why ENMC is anxious to see that despite of these obvious and crucial aspects COP21 does not deal with oceans, a mistake which should absolutely be corrected. If the Oceans are not at the center of the Paris discussions, the conference will fail !
ENMC belief is that Oceans are fragile and should be protected, but at the same time that they cannot and should not become a sanctuary. Indeed human maritime activities are and shall remain necessary, but will be acceptable only if they are sustainable i.e. meet the need of the present without compromising the life of future generations. European maritime industries (shipping, shipbuilding…) are already strongly improving their ecological performance – not only in the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) - and it is in that responsible spirit that many European professionals would like the protection of the oceans to be included at the first rank of the worldwide Paris negotiations.
Francis Vallat, Chairman
Paul Marceul Secretary-General
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