Cees Loggen, Regional Minister of Noord-Holland Province and Vice-President of the CPMR in charge of energy and climate, spoke at the G7 Environment Ministers’ meeting on plastic pollution in the oceans, on 5 May in Metz.

Mr Loggen was invited by Commissioner Karmenu Vella in charge of environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, to join the European Union delegation for this meeting. He also participated in a meeting of civil society actors chaired by Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State for ecological transition.

In his speeches, Cees Loggen recalled the CPMR’s policy position supporting the European Union’s approach to circular economy and plastic pollution of the oceans. He also highlighted concrete examples of actions supported by regions and the CPMR, such as:

• The Fishing for litter initiative, supported by KIMO International and the CPMR North Sea Commission

Clean Atlantic and PANACea cooperation projects, which respectively involve the CPMR’s Atlantic and Inter-Mediterranean commissions

The conclusions of the G7 Ministerial Meeting in Metz express an ambition to improve international coordination on the knowledge of the oceans, raise awareness on related issues among citizens and decision-makers, and reduce pressures on the ecological state of the oceans. These conclusions are accompanied by a list of transnational initiatives that have been supported by G7 members and are preparing the way for the August G7 Summit.

These outcomes reflect the growing recognition of ocean issues in international environmental negotiations. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) will publish a report on Oceans and Climate Change in the months following the August G7 Summit. This report will provide input for organising COP 25, where political discussions will focus largely on ocean-related climate issues. In parallel, 2021 will mark the start the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).