OceanCare calls on governments to commit to an immediate Phase-Out Roadmap for hydrocarbon exploration in the seabed

New York, 25th September: Speaking at the Climate Action Summit and after today’s Blue Leaders breakfast, and responding to recent information about the status of the oceans and cryosphere in a changing climate, the international marine conservation organisation OceanCare urges governments to agree on a binding roadmap to phase out hydrocarbon exploration in the seabed. The organisation presented this call at the high level side event on climate and oceans „Actions speak louder than words“, organised by the Belgian government on Monday, 23rd September 2019, at the Summit.

„We have to walk the talk towards a true energy transition. A precise and binding roadmap on phasing out the search for new hydrocarbon reservoirs is a necessary action which needs to be taken on national, regional and international levels,“ says Nicolas Entrup, Co-Director of International Relations at OceanCare, who presented the call at the side event. „We cannot accept that seismic exploration activities for identifying new hydrocarbon deposits continue and in some regions even increase, while we all know that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground,“ says Entrup.

Reinforcing the call, OceanCare points to the threats that seismic activities pose to marine wildlife. There is compelling scientific evidence to be truly concerned over the damage caused by seismic surveys, which are among the loudest sound pulses created by humans. This noise not only impacts on marine mammals, but also causes fish catch rates to drop significantly and creates kind of „death zones“ void of zooplankton, the basis of the marine food web, just to name some of the documented detrimental effects.

Reducing vessel speed for climate protection

In addition, OceanCare has made it clear that striving for technical solutions to reduce GHG emissions is important, but can only be one pillar. Immediately effective operational measures have to be put in place, too. In particular, reducing the speed of large vessels on a global scale would significantly contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

You can access the whole speech and presentation given by Nicolas Entrup on behalf of OceanCare at the high level side event on 23rd of September here.

For further information
Nicolas Entrup, Co-Director for International Relations, OceanCare,
M. +43 660 211 9963, nentrup@oceancare.org

Note to editors
The Brussels Declaration „The Ocean and Climate Change“, an initiative by the government of Belgium, is a strong commitment to setting a framework and generating incentives to facilitate the development of renewable ocean energies. This includes preceding spatial planning that safeguards biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, connectivity and food security.

Philippe de Backer, Belgian Minister of the North Sea (speaking), Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Janine Coye-Felson, Ambassador of Belize, David Paul, Kitack Lim, Secretary General IMO.