Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for immediate action to move to decarbonisation to manage climate change.
The former US senator and presidential candidate was delivering the first keynote address of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork City Hall on Sunday 9 June.
In his address, Kerry was passionate about the state of our oceans, and he delivered a hard-hitting speech that criticised governments for not being transparent about climate change and called for urgent implementation of better energy policy.
Sponsored by PwC, the Ocean Wealth Summit was moderated by Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan featured contributions from a number of national and international government officials.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Marine Minister Michael Creed were actively engaged in discussion with representatives from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on how governments could work together to broker key solutions to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Later at the summit, and together with Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English, they launched the State’s draft Marine Planning Policy Statement.
This is being touted as “a true recognition of the importance of a fully integrated marine planning system across all aspects of marine forward planning, marine development management and marine planning enforcement”.
The Marine Planning Policy Statement is now open for public consultation until noon on Friday 9 August.
Sunday afternoon sessions at the summit were moderated by Dr Tara Shine. These led with a keynote address by European Parliament First Vice President Mairéad McGuinness on the work that Europe is doing and needs to do to effect decarbonisation and promote a greener, cleaner society to support the oceans health and wealth.
Also speaking at the summit was Ireland’s Youth Ambassador to the Oceans, Alicia O’Sullivan, who delivered a powerful address to motivate people in Ireland to see the impact of decisions at local level, which have national and global impact.
The 17-year-old echoed the words of climate activist Greta Thurnberg when she said that urgent action is required as the “house is on fire”.