Marine Institute

LET’S GET THE JOB DONE; Former US Secretary of State John Kerry

June 24, 2019

Environment Activist and former US Secretary of State John Kerry delivering keynote address at Our Ocean Wealth Summit in CorkWorking together in partnership to create the political will to address the challenges of Climate Change at Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 in Cork.

"Not one nation in the world is living sustainably, and we, collectively, are not getting the job done" according to Former US Secretary of State John Kerry who provided the keynote address at Our Ocean Wealth Summit; Shared Voices from Small Island Nations, in Cork recently.

Political representatives from over 30 small island nations, global leaders and more than 750 delegates attended Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019 at City Hall, Cork. Addressing the conference, which is organized by the Marine Institute on behalf of the Government's Marine Coordination Group, Secretary Kerry stated that "These gatherings cannot be an excuse to talk. They have got to become an exhortation to action that is going to pull us back from the brink"

Our Ocean Wealth Summit is an output of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government's integrated plan for Ireland's marine sector, which aims to sustainably double the value of the marine economy's contribution to GDP by 2030. The plan in particular notes that healthy marine ecosystems, including a clean, green environment, are not only an essential goal for achieving this vision; they are also an important enabler for harnessing our ocean wealth.

Secretary Kerry who represented the fishing state of New England for more than 28 years, said that "Time is not a friend to us on the issue of climate change. There is no blue economy if we don't protect our oceans. You can't protect the oceans without solving the problem of climate change, and we can't solve the problem of climate change without protecting the oceans. They go hand in hand".

The determined environmentalist and former presidential candidate further shared his insight on climate change and the action required to sustainably and effectively manage our oceans to ensure the health of our planet, when he urged everyone to take responsibility for tackling climate change. "Voting makes a difference. Organising makes a difference. Holding politicians accountable makes a difference". Describing fishermen as 'born conservationists", Secretary Kerry stated that "resolving climate change is not a matter of whether we can do it. It's a matter of whether we decide to do it".

Referring to the British writer Richard Hakluyt, who is credited with compiling the world's first commercial atlas, Secretary Kerry suggested that "if he could map the oceans with so little information, surely we can save the oceans with the level of innovation, insight, and investment we have, that Hakluyt could never dream of".

"We are here to turn the tide of history. We are here to do the job we know has to get done, so let's just get it done". Secretary Kerry said as he finished his address to Our Ocean Wealth Summit with its global audience of UN representatives, political and business leaders and members of the public. Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2019; Shared Voices from Small Island States.

See Secretary Kerry's full speech here

ENDS

For more information, please contact Sheila Byrnes, Communications Manager, Marine Institute: telephone 091 387390 / 087 225 0871 or email sheila [dot] byrnes [at] marine [dot] ie

Further information is available at www.ouroceanwealth.ie