European Commission details sustainable blue economy plans

The European Commission has unveiled a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the European Union, encompassing the industries and sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts.

A sustainable blue economy is considered to be essential to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and assisting the recovery from the Covid19 pandemic.

Frans Timmermans, executive vice president for the Green Deal, said: “Healthy oceans are a precondition for a thriving blue economy. Pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, coupled with the effects of the climate crisis, all threaten the rich marine biodiversity that the blue economy depends on. We must change tack and develop a sustainable blue economy where environmental protection and economic activities go hand in hand.”

To be truly green, we must also think blue

The commission stressed the need for a sustainable use of resources to create alternatives to fossil fuels and traditional food production.

The communication sets out a detailed agenda for the blue economy to achieve the objectives of climate neutrality and zero pollution notably by developing offshore renewable energy, by decarbonising maritime transport and by greening ports. A sustainable ocean energy mix including floating wind, thermal, wave and tidal energy could generate a quarter of the EU’s electricity in 2050. Ports are crucial to the connectivity and the economy of Europe’s regions and countries and could be used as energy hubs.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, commissioner for the environment, fisheries and maritime affairs, said: “The pandemic has hit the marine economy sectors in different, but profound ways. We have an opportunity to start afresh, and we want to make sure that the recovery shifts the focus from mere exploitation to sustainability and resilience. Thus to be truly green, we must also think blue.”

Andrew Cox

During the 1990s, Dr Andrew Cox was the editor of UK Coal Review and was a regular writer and commentator on the international coal trade and related infrastructure developments. Post-2000, he has been a freelance writer, CPD trainer and project consultant. He focuses on developments in the energy, chemicals, shipping and port sectors.
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