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US Climate Envoy John Kerry Addresses ‘Our Ocean’ Conference in Greece

Kerry Greece Our Ocean
John Kerry addresses the preparatory conference of “Our Ocean” in Greece on Monday. Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On Monday, Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate John Kerry congratulated Greece for taking the responsibility to host the “Our Ocean Conference” in 2024.

“Greece does what it usually does: it leads an effort to make a difference for the entire planet,” Kerry said in a videotaped message at an event in Athens.

The rotating “Our Ocean Conference”, which was first organized in 2014, is an initiative by the US former Secretary of State and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Monday’s preparatory conference was held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation south of Athens.

Kerry to collaborate with Greece on the 9th ‘Our Ocean’ conference

Kerry spoke of the upcoming ninth conference, which will take place in Greece, and said he looked forward to collaborating with the Greek government on its preparation over the following two years.

The former secretary of state referred to ancient Greece and its relation with the sea as reflected in the Iliad and said Greece was an admirable global leader in the sector of shipping.

In addition, he referred to the interest of shipping companies in building new ships with no carbon footprint, as well as to fishing practices, particularly illegal fishing, in the open sea. It is a practice that is supported by some countries while depleting the oceans of fish, such as the bluefin tuna, which is under threat of extinction.

“Oceans…vital to life on the planet absorb 90 [percent] of the increase in the Earth’s temperature,” changing their chemistry more than it has changed in millions of years, he said.

Referring to the 7th conference at Palau, Kerry said over seventy nations met and committed to nearly four hundred actions worth approximately sixteen billion dollars. The eight “Our Ocean” conference will be hosted by Panama.

The ninth such conference is expected to examine ways to address the impacts of climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution.

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