For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace Media Officer, P: 301-675-8766

Greenpeace Reaction to Marine Protections in US-Canada Climate Announcement

WASHINGTON - President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau announced today that the US and Canada would work together to combat climate change, including working toward Arctic marine protections. The countries reiterated that they will work to protect at least 10 percent of marine areas by 2020 and will lead in pushing other Arctic nations to develop a network of marine protected areas in the region. The leaders also committed to addressing the risks posed by heavy fuel oil and black carbon emissions from Arctic shipping, and called for a binding international agreement to prevent the opening of unregulated fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.

In response to today’s news, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Mary Sweeters said:

“Today’s announcement from the US and Canada is hugely significant as for the first time world leaders are pushing for an international agreement that would make the ocean at the top of the world off limits to destructive industries. The leaders have made promising commitments toward Arctic marine protection, providing a roadmap to preserve marine biodiversity in a region that is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. The Arctic remains one of the most vulnerable places on earth and an international effort to create a network of marine protected areas, including no-take reserves, is desperately needed.

“It is incredibly important that a network of marine protected areas across the Arctic Ocean incorporates sound science and Indigenous knowledge. To prevent destructive industrial fishing, it must incorporate no-take marine reserves, including an Arctic sanctuary in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean. Reckless industries already view melting sea ice as a business opportunity, but those who contribute to the destruction of our planet must not also be allowed to profit from it.

“It is our hope that other Arctic nations will follow the leadership of the US and Canada in committing to permanent marine protections for the region. Countries must unite to create a network of marine reserves, ban the use of heavy fuel oil from shipping and seismic blastings that threaten Arctic marine life, and reject industrial Arctic exploitation once and for all.”


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