If you get the chance to put in a good word for krill, squid, Sharky and Moby – then off to New York …

On 23 September 2019, the Climate Action Summit will take place in New York just ahead of the UN General Assembly. UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls on government officials and representatives of business and civil society to bring along plans to tackle the global climate crisis.

On this day, the Belgian Minister for the North Sea, Philippe de Backer, will host a high-level side event at which Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Kitack Lim, Secretary General of IMO, David Paul, Minister of Environment of the Marshall Islands and a few others will also speak. I am honoured to be one of these “few others” and to give a voice to marine animals on behalf of the international marine conservation organisation OceanCare.

The event, hosted by the Belgian government, promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions covered by the Brussels Declaration through ambitious incentive and investment measures, particularly in the fields of technology and renewable energies, under the broad banner of “Blue Economy”.

My part will be to make it clear that reducing widespread underwater noise sources is also a concrete, measurable climate protection measure. On the one hand, speed reductions in freight shipping can reduce both CO2 and noise to a large extent. On the other hand, the search for oil in the seabed should be ceased, as it causes unimaginably intense noise and is anachronistic in times of climate change. In addition, it is important to make it clear that a BLUE Economy is only really GREEN if marine spatial planning is accompanied by strict environmental impact assessments.

I look forward to this opportunity

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greta Thunberg and at the same time congratulate her on not choosing the plane as her means of transport, unlike all of us. Despite all criticism about her action causing extra flights of the sailing crew, it was and is a top-class symbolic act. We should all rather ask ourselves why it takes a young girl to start listening to science and caring about the future of our planet. If Greta travelled by plane, the criticism would have been even greater. Rock on, Greta and all the other young people who care about the planet!

Nicolas Entrup, 19 September 2019