The EU and 13 other countries including Canada, India and the United Kingdom have agreed to form a coalition to protect biodiversity in the high seas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Ouest-France newspaper in an interview.
More nations may join once the coalition is launched together with French President Emmanuel Macron at the One Ocean Summit on Friday in Brest, western France, the newspaper reported.
“We are already investing heavily in ocean-related research and innovation,” von der Leyen said. The bloc is setting aside half a billion euros ($574 million) to “restore our oceans by 2030.”
One of von der Leyen’s aims is to expand protected zones in Antarctica, whose ecosystem is “essential to the health of our oceans.” While support has grown over the last years, two member states of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) are still blocking a decision, she said.