Nations demand oceans be included in climate talks

Ministers and officials from more than 70 nations called Thursday for oceans to be included on the agenda of global climate change talks aimed at finding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Delegates at the World Ocean Conference in Indonesia urged joint action to reverse the impact of climate change on the oceans and for the issue to be included in crucial climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

The Manado Ocean Declaration calls for cuts to ocean pollution, funding for sustainable development in poor countries, greater research into how climate change affects the ocean and the role oceans play in fighting climate change.

“The declaration represents a political commitment by participating governments to address the common questions of sea level rises, ocean acidification, changing weather patterns and other climate-related phenomena,” US delegation head Mary Glackin said.

The non-binding declaration contained no specific commitments for funding or emissions targets and was criticised by some scientists as too weak to combat likely devastating sea rises and the destruction of key species.

AFP, 14 May 2009. Full article.

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