State/National/WorldNews Briefs

U.N. chief warns oceans are “under threat as never before”

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ― Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the first-ever U.N. conference on oceans with a warning that the seas are “under threat as never before;” one recent study warned that discarded plastic garbage could outweigh fish by 2050 if nothing is done.

The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from nearly 200 countries that oceans – “the lifeblood of our planet” – are being severely damaged by pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change as well as refuse.

The five-day conference, which began on World Environment Day, is the first major event to focus on climate since President Donald Trump announced the United States will withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – a decision criticized by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and other speakers.

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