Brussels, 16 January 2020 – The European Parliament is set to adopt a resolution on actions to combat the biodiversity crisis and protect nature, including a call to protect half the planet by 2050, and at least 30% of natural areas by 2030. This is in line with the recently launched, draft UN global goals to prevent the sixth mass extinction which include similar targets.

Greenpeace EU policy advisor Kevin Stairs said: “Our planet is literally on fire, with large portions of the globe experiencing devastating, unnatural forest fires and the last five years have been the hottest on record for our oceans. As we enter the sixth mass extinction, the climate crisis is putting additional pressure on vast numbers of animals already at risk due to other human practices. The European Parliament has recognised that the time is now. If we are to avert the worst catastrophe, the European Commission and EU governments must act and make the EU a global leader. They have two opportunities in 2020, both are necessary to secure the 30% by 2030 protection targets supported by the Parliament today.”

Governments will meet at a United Nations marine biodiversity conference in March to agree on a new Global Ocean Treaty. A strong global governance framework is necessary to establish fully protected ocean sanctuaries in areas beyond national jurisdiction which cover half of the planet, and yet are amongst the least protected areas on Earth. Scientists say that the full protection of at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 is the minimum that marine life needs to recover. Protecting oceans protects biodiversity and reduces our impact on the climate.

Studies of Coral Health in Mexico
Fish and corals in the Alacranes Reef

In October, the world will meet in China for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP15) to agree on global action to tackle the alarming loss of biodiversity. Last spring, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services warning of mass species loss due to human impacts. More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction, more than at any time in human history.


Kevin Stairs  – Greenpeace EU policy adviser: +32 (0)476 96 13 76, [email protected]

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]

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