OTTAWA, March 6, 2018 /CNW/ – Our oceans are a source of enormous ecological diversity and economic opportunity for communities around the world. Yet plastics are threatening our marine ecosystems, and climate change is impacting our coastal communities through rising seas, coastal erosion, and the effects of increased storm surges. As the impacts of pollution and climate change increase, so does our responsibility to protect the oceans for future generations.
From March 6 to 9, 2018, Minister McKenna will visit Mexico to engage ministers from Latin American countries, business leaders, experts on oceans plastics, and other stakeholders to advance Canada’s G7 priorities on climate change, oceans, and clean energy. Minister McKenna’s participation at the Asamblea del Océano Pacifico, followed by the World Ocean Summit, will include discussions on building resilient coastal communities and addressing the growing problem of marine litter.
Marine plastics are a growing problem, but there are ways countries can take action. For example, Canada is working with G7 and G20 countries and others to reduce the production and use of plastics and prevent marine litter from polluting our oceans. Additionally, the Government of Canada published regulations, in June 2017, prohibiting plastic-microbeads-containing toiletries, such as bath and body products, skin cleansers, and toothpaste.
At the World Ocean Summit, Minister McKenna will lead sessions and round tables, and she will participate in panel discussions aimed at identifying solutions to the problem of marine litter and other issues threatening our oceans. While participating in a keynote interview, Minister McKenna will also discuss the ways women can lead in ocean and environmental protection.
“From acidification to the worsening impacts of hurricanes, climate change is negatively affecting our oceans and coastal communities. In addition, plastic waste and marine litter pose an increasingly serious threat to our oceans, marine life, and human health. In fact, there is so much plastic in our oceans that, without action, it is estimated there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish, by 2050. This global problem requires action, and Canada is working with international partners to see our oceans protected from waste and the impacts of climate change. As Canadatakes on the G7 presidency in 2018, we will continue to advance global efforts on climate change, oceans, and clean energy.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- One of Canada’s G7 themes is working together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy.
- There is more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans.
- Every year, approximately 8 million tonnes of plastics enter our oceans from land.
- Globally, less than 10 percent of all plastics are recycled and kept in the economy.