Each year, the G7 summit brings international leaders together to discuss world affairs and identify potential solutions to pressing global issues. The theme for this year’s G7 Summit, to be held in the oceanside French city of Biarritz, is “the fight against inequality.” Given the strong correlation between socioeconomic inequality and vulnerability to environmental and climatic harms, it is imperative that this year’s G7 tackle issues such as rising sea levels, water pollution, and hurting fisheries.
In an effort to raise awareness of the dire problems afflicting the world’s oceans in the run-up to the Biarritz Summit, Surfrider Foundation Europe is hosting a four-day Ocean Pavilion from August 20 to August 23 in the Basque country's surfing paradise. Voices from the spheres of transportation, tourism, civic engagement, and athletics will all have roles to play in what is sure to be an animated discussion.
Connect4Climate is proud to be joining the Pavilion virtually alongside international surfing icons and beachwear companies like Reef, Surfrider Foundation’s partner in the “Better Beach Alliance.” If you would like to participate remotely yourself, Surfrider will be live-streaming the activities of the Pavilion on its YouTube channel every day beginning at 4:30 PM France time. Add your thoughts to the online conversation with the hashtag #OceanCallforG7.
The Ocean Pavilion will entail an ambitious array of activities geared toward galvanizing ocean consciousness and promoting climate action on the oceans’ behalf. Days 2 through 4 of the event will take place in Biarritz itself; Day 1 will unfold in nearby Anglet.
On Day 1, talks will revolve around #Sport4Climate—in particular, the power of the surf industry to promote sustainable practices—and strategies for growing marine ecotourism. Day 2’s focus will be the diversity and beauty of ocean life and the necessity of conserving it. Sustainable restaurateurs will give insights into ocean-friendly dietary plans.
Day 3 of the pavilion will zero in on the massive problem of plastic pollution and will look at ways in which citizen science can help to document and reverse the trend. Rounding out the event, Day 4 will tie oceanic concerns in with the broader environmental challenges of the climate crisis.
After all the various conferences and roundtable sessions have concluded, participants in the Pavilion will come together to draft an “Ocean Call” to action, laying out the reasons why ocean-oriented climate action is imperative and exhorting the leaders attending the G7 Summit to make it a priority.
The Ocean Pavilion will serve as a compelling reminder to the world that questions of inequality are intimately interconnected with the climate crisis and the urgent threat facing our oceans. Fighting to clean up our oceans and reverse dangerous sea level rise is essential if the dream of global equality is ever to be realized.
All images courtesy of Surfrider Foundation Europe.