Europe and Central Asia

A European Green Deal that serves the Oceans


Recommendations to rescue the oceans based on BirdLife’s proposals for saving biodiversity


Nature at sea is in crisis. Recent global reports show that we are changing our planet beyond recognition and losing ocean biodiversity at unprecedented rates, and the European Union is no exception. Climate change is interwoven with, and exacerbates, the catastrophic loss of biodiversity: we cannot address one issue without considering the other, as they are intrinsically linked. Habitat degradation from the way we manage our oceans is a major cause of biodiversity loss and a key driver of climate change. Understanding these threats, we must act now. The future European Green Deal needs to be ambitious if we are to genuinely address the crisis.

European efforts to curb and halt biodiversity loss at sea in the last two decades have failed miserably. This is mainly due to a lack of commitment to change the status quo that is destroying ocean life. The EU has a huge budget that could start funding this systemic change to a society that respects the rule of law and nature. Misguided incentives and investments in the EU lock us onto a path of destruction. We can no longer afford the status quo. This change must be transformative, and will need to overcome the economic growth paradigm. Change also needs to achieve social justice and socio-economic fairness.