It may seem hypocritical for Norway, as an oil producing nation with lots of offshore platforms and occasional spills, to lead international efforts to protect the world’s oceans but Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was at it again on Friday. He and several other government leaders gathered in the French harbour city of Brest to formally conclude the One Ocean Summit to save the seas.
“My message to the other participants is that it’s critical for our common future that we manage the seas in a sustainable manner,” Støre said at the summit that included meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and US climate envoy John Kerry. The goal of the meeting, according to Støre office, was to boost international ambitions for ocean conservation and present concrete proposals to carry that out.
Maritime business, climate change, protection of the marine ecosystem, maritime pollution and greener shipping were all discussed. Støre, carrying on an initiative by Norway’s former Prime Minister Erna Solberg, noted that Norwegians “have lived off and with the sea as long as people have lived in Norway. The seas are still an irreplaceable source of food, welfare and jobs, and important for transport. We have, therefore, a heavy responsibility to pass on seas that are in at least as good a condition as they were when they were passed on to us.”
Macron, who led the summit, and his government have launched intiatives to reduce use of plastics, ensure better recycling, protect the oceans’ biological diversity and cooperate on oceanography and data. Norway is promoting ocean research and sustainable ocean management.