Blue economy: the potential of our oceans to contribute to a green recovery
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According to OECD projections, by 2030, the “Blue Economy” could outperform the growth of the global economy as a whole, both in terms of value added and employment. A sector with a turnover of €750 billion that currently employs 5 million people in Europe presents an important potential in terms of both its contribution to a green recovery and the European Green Deal goals.
The marine economy is typically associated with traditional activities such as fishing or transport, but we are witnessing the emergence of an increasing number of innovative sectors including marine renewable energy, which is on track to produce up to 35% of the EU's electricity by 2050. The EU is a global leader in offshore wind energy, one of the fastest growing sectors, but also in developing other emerging and promising technologies like tidal and wave energy and floating solar panels and wind turbines.
The EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy aims to adopt a more coherent European approach to maritime issues in order to contribute to the creation of sustainable growth and jobs from sea-related activities. But tensions and potentially conflicting activities (transport, fisheries, energy production or leisure) are present in EU and international waters. These challenges require joint efforts through enhanced international cooperation.
It is argued that truly integrated maritime policies, adequate economic and legislative incentives, supportive public and private financial and investment flows should be the basis for sustainable ocean development.
The ocean represents a big, untapped potential. But how do we make sure that economic activities in our seas are sustainable? How can innovation contribute to a sustainable ocean development? How to encourage the development of skills and knowledge related to specific needs of the Blue Economy sector? What regulatory and financial measures should the EU take to boost investments in the Blue Economy?
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Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
John Bell, Director, Healthy planet, DG RTD, European Commission
Bernhard Friess, Director, Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, DG MARE, European Commission
Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar MEP, Member Committee on Fisheries, European Parliament
Raquel Gaiao, All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador, Portugal
Tove Lunde, Head of Safety, Security and Sustainability for New Energy Solutions, Equinor and Chairwoman of the Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation
Brian Maguire, Journalist, EURACTIV
10:05-10:20 Keynote speech
10:20-10:30 Panellist statements
10:30-11:25 Discussion and Q&A
11:25-11:30 Closing statements
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The transition to a greener, more sustainable economy will be impossible without the support of industries based around the ocean and coasts – known as the blue economy – according to the European Commission.