2 minute read
As the dust settles on a turbulent month for the UK Government, we’ve untangled everything that’s been happening in Parliament and what the leadership changes could mean for our ocean.
Liz Truss MP became the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history when she announced her resignation on the 20th October 2022, triggering another leadership contest. As the only remaining candidate by the deadline to reach the threshold of 100 supporters, Rishi Sunak MP automatically became our next Prime Minister.
With a new Prime Minister comes a new cabinet and team of ministers. Sunak’s Government has seen the return of Dr Thérése Coffey MP to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where she now holds the role of Secretary of State. Coffey heads up a team of other experienced colleagues such as Rebecca Pow MP and Lord Benyon. It’s good to be able to welcome back decision makers who have experience in DEFRA, knowledge about how critical and urgent the climate and biodiversity crises are and exactly how important a healthy ocean is to tackle these issues.
Ocean Solutions parliamentary event
Marine Conservation Society staff at our Ocean Solutions parliamentary event
Credit: Ella Daish - Marine Conseravtion Society
We recently held a briefing in Westminster, highlighting Ocean Solutions to MPs. Some of these solutions included Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), sustainable fisheries and stopping chemical pollution. The event was well attended by cross-party MPs who had the opportunity to ask questions on a range of topics directly to our panel of leading experts. This briefing for UK parliamentarians highlighted that economic growth is stunted without a healthy environment, and showed how proven ocean solutions could help tackle the environmental and economic issues currently facing the UK.
Marine conservation on the world stage
We’re really glad that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is attending COP27. These international discussions are a crucial forum for political decisions on environmental protection, so it’s important that our Prime Minister is present for discussions that could shape future actions for the ocean.
Similarly, the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022 is another important moment for our ocean. Nature is declining at a faster rate than at any other time in human history. Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest threats to the future of the planet. There are five main drivers of biodiversity loss: habitat destruction, invasive species, overexploitation (hunting and fishing), pollution, and climate change.
Despite 80% of all life on Earth being found in our seas, the ocean is not given the same level of priority as land during environmental discussions. This needs to change, especially on an international stage where the focus is nature and biodiversity. In order to tackle the biodiversity crisis and protect our blue planet, it’s vital that we take action to address this imbalance. That’s why we’re calling for the UK Government and Rishi Sunak to attend COP15, to prioritise the ocean as much as land-based ecosystems.
Sign our Stop Ocean Poison petition
Credit: Daughter Studios
Harmful chemicals are now present in all water on Earth, poisoning our blue planet. It’s a crime – but it’s not illegal.
Environmental laws are under attack by the UK Government, threatening the health of our seas. We're calling for the UK Government to protect our ocean from chemical pollution, including a ban of all 'forever chemicals' from all non-essential uses. Over 10,000 people have already signed our petition – but we still need more! Add your voice and sign the Stop Ocean Poison petition today.