(United Nations News) The planet is facing the triple crises of climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution, Secretary-General António Guterres told the One Ocean Summit on Friday, warning that “the ocean shoulders much of the burden”.
As the ocean serves as a giant carbon and heat sink, it is growing warmer and more acidic, causing its ecosystems to suffer.
“Polar ice is melting and global weather patterns are changing”, the UN chief said in his video message to the conference, taking place this week in the northern French coastal city of Brest.
The communities who rely on the ocean are hurting as well, he added: “More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods”.
He painted a grim picture of dwindling marine species; dying coral reefs; coastal ecosystems turned into “vast dead zones” as they serve as dumping grounds for sewage; and nutrients and seas choked by plastic waste.
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