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Pacific countries leadership is critical: UNSG

May 16, 2019 10:45 am
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Climate change is a threat to the well-being of the oceans, which are critical to the economies and traditions of the Pacific.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, causing coral bleaching and reducing biodiversity.

Guterres says the oceans are also under attack from other directions.

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“Global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius would cause severe damage to tropical reefs, but if warming levels were to reach 2 degrees Celsius or more, it would be catastrophic for marine life and humans alike. Food security would decline. Economic growth would suffer.”

Guterres says pollution is filling the seas with poison and trash.

He says every year, more than 8 million tonnes of harmful plastic waste ends up in the ocean.

He adds the Pacific countries leadership is critical in ensuring the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the marine resources for sustainable development.

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