The Greens have called on Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to take a leading role in convening an emergency meeting with UN member states after a fifth effort to pass a global agreement to protect the world's oceans and marine life has failed.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
“Tanya Plibersek promised Australia would take a global leadership role in ocean protection, and now is the exact time for her to act on that promise.
“Sadly talks to pass the UN High Seas Treaty have failed, but it’s not too late for Tanya Plibersek to convene an emergency meeting with UN member states and take a true leadership role in protecting the world's oceans and marine life.
“Ultimately the fate of the oceans depends on global action on climate change, and Australia still has significant work to do to be considered a global leader in this space.
“For instance, Australia likes to talk a big game on marine protected areas - which have been a key area of the UN High Seas Treaty discussion - but using any other country’s definition of a protected area, Australia’s achievements are laughable because we largely allow oil and gas activities in these areas.
“A failure to make progress on a UN High Seas Treaty now threatens the livelihoods and food security of billions of people around the world. It’s been 40 years since the last international agreement on ocean protection was signed and we can’t wait any longer.
“I implore Tanya Plibersek to convene an emergency meeting with UN member states and take a true leadership role in protecting the world's oceans and marine life.”