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23 May, 2024
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EU champions ocean health with $3.71 billion investment

EU's maritime mission: Combat pollution and foster growth

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The European Union will spend 3.5 billion euros ($3.71 billion) to protect the ocean and promote sustainability through a series of initiatives this year, the EU’s top environment official said on Tuesday.

The 40 commitments range from fighting marine pollution to supporting sustainable fisheries and investments in the so-called blue economy – sustainable use of marine and freshwater resources for economic activity.

The commitments were announced during the annual “Our Ocean” conference held in Athens this week and attended by about 120 countries.

“The ocean is part of who we are, and it is our shared responsibility,” said EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius.

The commitments include supporting 14 investments and one reform in sustainable fisheries in Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Portugal worth about 1.9 billion euros, and 980 million euros under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to be used in Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Italy and Spain’s to support four investments and two reforms to fight marine pollution.

Other initiatives are directed to helping African countries develop their blue economy.

More than 400 new commitments amounting to $10 billion will be announced during the conference, a Greek government official told Reuters on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said last month that ocean temperatures hit a record high in February, according to data that goes back to 1979. Overfishing and plastic pollution are also major threats to oceans.

The conference has mobilised more than 2,160 commitments worth approximately $130 billion since its launch in 2014.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  ocean

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