Ocean Action Hub

18 Jan 2019 - Paris agreement for the sea recommended as rates of plastic pollution to skyrocket

A new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a “sewer”, according to a cross-party group of MPs.

Plastic pollution is set to treble in the next decade, the environmental audit committee warned, while overfishing is denuding vital marine habitats of fish, and climate change is causing harmful warming of the oceans as well as deoxygenation and acidification.

The effects of plastic pollution are particularly poorly understood, the committee found in its report, published on Thursday. It found “a lack of data on the serious long-term harm and health implications of plastic particles entering the food chain” and accused the government of treating the oceans as “out of sight, out of mind”.

One way of tackling the problem would be through a “Paris agreement for the sea”, the MPs recommended. Governments are still working on a possible new ocean protection treaty, under the UN. The MPs also called for the government to bring forward the target date of phasing out avoidable plastic waste from 2042, and urged greater action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/17/stop-treating-seas-as-a-sewer-mps-urge-in-bid-for-protection-treaty

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Publication date: 
18/01/2019
Publication Organisation: 
The Guardian
Publication Author: 
Fiona Harvey
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