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COP25 in Madrid by Catherine Chabaud

Learn about Europe through the eyes of an MEP. This week, French MEP Catherine Chabaud shares with us her presence at COP25 in Madrid and the need to integrate Ocean solutions into the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

"I had two objectives for my trip to COP25 in Madrid: to attend some of the 90 events on the Ocean and Climate theme and to share with the European Parliament delegation and the personalities I met the need to integrate Ocean solutions into the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Four years ago, with all the members of the Ocean and Climate Platform, we celebrated the insertion of the word "Ocean" in the preamble of the Paris Agreement. Until then, the fundamental role of the ocean in climate stability was ignored in the climate negotiations, as it was little addressed by scientists and misunderstood by politicians. Since then, the Ocean community has finally been heard, recently supported in its arguments by the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere. Along with Monaco and France, Chile is one of the States that are pushing forward with the integration of Ocean solutions into States' commitments, to the point of deciding to make this 25th Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention a "Blue COP".

In fact, nearly 90 events on Blue Carbon, ocean acidification, special report or Ocean solutions took place during the two weeks of the COP, culminating on 7 December, for the "ocean day".

When I arrived in Madrid, I expected to find the Blue COP perceptible, I thought it would be a subject discussed with our interlocutors met in the meetings of the EP delegation. But no, it wasn't a subject. At least not for everyone because the new European Commissioner for the Environment and the Oceans made a speech that was noticed by the Ocean community and in line with the ambitions expressed in the Green Deal revealed earlier this week by the President of the Commission.

According to observers, this ambition was not quite fulfilled by the European Union negotiator, to the point of encouraging me to write to Vice-President Timmermans and his colleague for the environment, Sinkevicius.

I followed the successive metamorphoses of the final declaration over the weekend, through the network of "Friends for the Ocean", an informal coalition of scientific, community and political actors who are "friends of the ocean". Over the hours, under pressure from Brazil or Saudi Arabia, the ambition on the ocean diminished or even disappeared, but that was without counting on the tenacity of the COP President, who managed to save the essential.

I have just arrived back from Madrid with mixed feelings, but more than ever convinced that Parliament must mobilise itself on these issues and confirm the objectives I have set myself to carry them forward and promote a strategic vision of the Ocean issues that includes the Ocean and climate relationship."

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