Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 2:38 am | Fair 36º


Ocean Future Society’s Jean-Michel Cousteau Speaks at U.N. Climate Conference

As the UN Climate Conferences in Paris, also known as COP21, came to a close last week, Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society, passionately stated that all nations must come together for action, because there is only one water system, and we all share the same home on our one water planet.

"I grew up along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France and began scuba diving at the age of seven. My father, Jacques Cousteau, his team and I produced many documentary films presenting the beauty and wonder of the ocean to the public.

"During my seventy years of diving, I have seen beautiful places of the world, but I have also seen the destruction of our planet. Now, as never before, we face the greatest challenge of our human history: the acceleration of climate change. To the world leaders and representatives gathered in Paris — the world is watching.

"Time is running out. There has been enough talking.

"We must take actions now to change the course of our global future. We must focus on solutions. No nation wins if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, if our temperatures continue to soar or our seas continue to acidify. We all win if we protect our lands and oceans.

"Every nation in the world has something to gain if we come together and create solutions. Every nation has something to gain if we realize that the quality of our futures depends on the health of our planet.

"Faced with challenges, our species is a remarkable innovator and can adapt to the changing needs of our time. We are the only species on the planet that has the choice not to disappear.

"Today, we have more knowledge than ever before, and we can communicate across a global population. We know the climate is rapidly changing, biodiversity is being lost, and our water planet is being polluted.

"Together, we can solve these problems. The opportunities to create new industries are endless.

"We must do a better job of harnessing energy from the sun, winds, tides and currents. We must recycle water and capture chemicals before they enter the oceans and farm the seas in a sustainable way.

"There are many ways to enhance our human communities while protecting our collective resources.

"There is only one water system, and together we live on one water planet. Our lives are undeniably linked, and our futures critically connected. 

"Let’s create the clean energy and water future we depend upon. The time for action is now."

Watch Jean-Michel Cousteau’s video statement on the Ocean Futures Society website.

Ocean Futures Society is a nonprofit marine conservation and education organization that serves as a “Voice for the Ocean”. Its mission is to explore the oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection and to celebrate their vital importance to the survival of all life on the planet.

One of OFS’s educational programs, Ambassadors of the Environment, represents the society’s commitment to prepare the next generation for the responsibilities they will inherit to manage the planet’s biosphere.

For more information, visit the website at

— Jaclyn Mandoske is a marine biologist and science communications associate at Ocean Futures Society.

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