EU to spend 3.5 billion euros to protect ocean, environment chief says


Athens: the European Union Will spend 3.5 billion euros ($3.71 billion) to protect the sea promote sustainability through a series of initiatives this year, the EU's top environment official said on Tuesday.
The 40 commitments range from fighting marine pollution to supporting sustainable fishing and investment in the so-called blue economy – sustainable use of marine and fresh water resources For economic activity,
The commitments were announced during the annual “Our Ocean” conference held in Athens this week and attended by about 120 countries.
“The ocean is part of who we are and it is our shared responsibility,” said Virginijus Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
The commitments include supporting 14 investments and a reform in sustainable fisheries in Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Portugal, worth approximately EUR 1.9 billion, and EUR 980 million under the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Will be used in Cyprus, Finland, Greece. Italy and Spain will support four investments and two reforms to fight marine pollution.
Other initiatives are directed at helping African countries develop their blue economies.
A Greek government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Monday that more than 400 new commitments worth $10 billion would be announced during the summit.
The EU's Copernicus climate change service said last month that sea temperatures reached a record high in February, according to data dating back to 1770. Overfishing and plastic pollution are also major threats to the oceans.
The conference has garnered more than 2,160 commitments worth approximately $130 billion since its launch in 2014.

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