Historic New Oceans Treaty?

Brief Note by Kip Hansen — 10 March 2023

Environmental and climate news is full of headlines like these:

UN forges historic deal to protect ocean life: what researchers think

IMO Welcomes New Oceans Treaty To Protect Marine Biodiversity On The High Seas

New Historic UN Treaty on Oceans Can Help Climate Action

At Last, a New Deal for the High Seas

Nations Agree on Language for Historic Treaty to Protect Ocean Life

There is only one tiny problem – only the last headline is true.

Surprisingly, it is the NY Time’s Catrin Einhorn (repeating the link) that gets the news right.

There is no treaty.  Let me re-word that:

There Is No New Treaty.

Not a single nation has approved or signed a new treaty.

What?  Wait….if there is no new treaty, if there is no treaty at all, what are all the headlines about?

“After two decades of planning and talks that culminated in a grueling race over the past few days in New York, a significant majority of nations agreed on language for a historic United Nations treaty that would protect ocean biodiversity.” [ source – NY Times  – yes, repeated link ]

And  (kudos to Catrin Einhorn):

“However, there is still a way to go before the treaty can take effect. The next major step would be for countries to formally adopt the language, which was settled on Saturday night. Then, nations would need to ratify the treaty itself, which often requires legislative approval.”

No country, so far, has gone through the necessary steps to formally  accept the language merely agreed  upon (by a significant majority of nations), decided upon the exact language that such a treaty might take for their country, no country has ratified such a treaty.

Bottom Line:

1.  There is no treaty.

Despite all the hullabaloo, there is no treaty as yet…and no one knows when such a treaty might be finalized and accepted by a sufficient number of nations to make it enforceable.

2.   How exactly the proposed treaty can be touted as a climate change treaty is left unexplained even by those claiming it is so.

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Author’s Comment:

It seems that the still-only-hoped-for Oceans Treaty is a climate treaty in the same way the Inflation Reduction Act (2022) is climate legislation; that is, only in the minds of activists, desperate for climate action.

Thanks for reading.

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March 10, 2023 2:24 pm

I don’t shop often, but when I do I realize that the Inflation Reduction Act is nothing but lies and thievery.

Ron Long
Reply to  Scissor
March 10, 2023 5:21 pm

Looks like you’re ahead of Senator Joe Manchin, who today announced that the Inflation Reduction Act is false and illegal, and does nothing for Energy Security, which was the guarantee he was given for his vote. How hard is it to imagine one Democrat lying to another?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Ron Long
March 11, 2023 12:42 pm

He based his vote on a guarantee without reading it? If it was big and complicated he could have simply said, “you’ll have to wait until I read it and understand it before I vote on it”. Then if that took a vote before he was ready – he simply didn’t have to vote at all. That would have been responsible.

Reply to  Scissor
March 11, 2023 2:06 am

How can a puppet government centrally controlled economic (Direct Taxation Big Brother) system that is completely dependent on money printing  (inflation) ever be free of lies and thievery?
Even the targeted 2 percent annual inflation that was the Federal Reserve’s recent years goal means a continuous eroding away of the purchasing power of this fiat currency and therefor in contradiction of one of the three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act : stabilizing prices.
It has been lies and thievery from the beginning always in need of (create) crisis to kick the can further down the road.

Land of the Free ? In reality slavery has never been abolished. When were you not used as guinea pigs and cannon fodder ?

Dave Burton
March 10, 2023 2:49 pm

I wouldn’t say that Catrin Einhorn gets the news right. She got the legal aspects right, but she got the science wrong. There’re no “threats from climate change” to marine life; oceans are alkaline, not acidic; ocean warming is negligible, etc.


Tom Halla
March 10, 2023 3:08 pm

If this is like other UN treaties, it is assured to be bad.

March 10, 2023 3:36 pm

………will the treaty address the plastic trash “islands” ….it appears to be 5 of them….one in the N. Pacific….one in the S. Pacific….also 2 in the Atlantic and one in the Indian.

Reply to  antigtiff
March 10, 2023 4:04 pm

These flotsam collections can identify as “islands” if they want to.

“Islands” are just places surrounded by water after all.

Reply to  antigtiff
March 10, 2023 4:06 pm

The so called islands of trash do not exist, and never have.

Reply to  MarkW
March 10, 2023 5:03 pm

But parts of Puerto Rico are pretty dumpy.

Steve Case
Reply to  MarkW
March 10, 2023 5:34 pm

An open ocean survey* “Java Sea” at about ten knots and looking over the railing, trash would float by a few times a minute. Trash was mostly plastic bags.

*No land in sight & about 15 minutes of observation.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 11, 2023 7:29 am

That’s quite a bit of trash. You must be close to “civilization”.

Reply to  antigtiff
March 10, 2023 5:50 pm

it is interesting how these floating debris accumulations are apparently formed by winds and currents and are in the middle of the oceans?

March 10, 2023 3:59 pm

“After two decades of planning and talks that culminated in a grueling race over the past few days in New York, a significant majority of nations agreed on language for a historic United Nations treaty that would protect ocean biodiversity.”

That is; representatives from some portion of the government have agreed, roughly, on wording.

Leaving legislatures to argue over wording and changes they insist upon…

Then, they are years away from a legitimate world treaty.

Plus there are a number of countries that have rejected previous attempts to “protect” ocean going creatures.

That’s before we consider those communities dependent upon oceans for their food and transport.
I suspect urban activists will assume ocean dependent communities would be thrilled to starve for the sake of our world’s ocean biodiversity…

Likely, the alleged treaty negotiators expect the USA to host, support and fund their activities.

Rud Istvan
March 10, 2023 4:00 pm

I saw this announcement, and out of curiosity did some quick research. Several ‘fun’ facts emerged.

  1. The main last 36 hour squabble was between developed and developing nations (just like climate reparations). The developing nations did not want the restrictions (e.g. on overfishing) that would be imposed by developed nations. They do want the climate reparations not yet forthcoming.
  2. The possible -but far from it now- treaty would only apply to the high seas (generally beyond 200 miles of somebody’s shore). Which means it would be impossible to effectively police. Think the global China fishing fleets now. So about as impactful in reality as the Paris Climate Accord. Just more UN do-goody fantasy.
  3. It would allow future treaty member ‘majority votes’ on locations of up to 1/3 of all high seas as sanctuaries where fishing and seabed mining would be prohibited. How does that work??? AND Which has NOTHING to do with climate change, the other purported reason for the UN ocean biodiversity ‘treaty’.
  4. Oceans are highly buffered. A doubling of CO2 at most lowers ocean pH by 0.15. The normal diurnal variation in barren ocean is 0.25, in fertile ocean it can be several times that range daily! Essay Shell Games in ebook Blowing Smoke gives a factual footnoted background to these UN ignored ocean climate basics.

So the real problem is overfishing by developing nations (China is still classified as such), and this treaty language has about zero chance of becoming a real treaty.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 13, 2023 6:31 am

The possible -but far from it now- treaty would only apply to the high seas (generally beyond 200 miles of somebody’s shore). Which means it would be impossible to effectively police. Think the global China fishing fleets now. So about as impactful in reality as the Paris Climate Accord. Just more UN do-goody fantasy.

I guess, the next step is supposed to be that “someone would just have to…” step in and police high seas. It’s not China… it’s not Russia… it’s not Britain… it’s not Japan… uh, help me with this one. 🙄
Which of course is totally not the same as de facto sovereignty over the oceans delegated by UN. Well, not quite… not yet…

March 10, 2023 4:31 pm

Headlines = propaganda.

Gary Pearse
March 10, 2023 5:31 pm

Without seeing the words, I know any treaty must be roundly rejected. With the present crop of surely the the most inept heads of state the West has ever seen, the totalitarian marxist intent and the strong arm tactics employed by corrupted Global Institutions led by the UN and the WEF, it will have nothing to do with good stuff for the oceans.

And the words themselves will end up not meaning what the dictionary defines. Global warming now means warming, cooling and staying the same. Carbon dioxide that is indispensable to life of all creatures and the plant kingdom is now a dangerous pollutant! Its okay to kill rare eagles and bats to eliminate this life giving molecule. It is a huge tell to first solicit agreement on the words to be used!

Shouldn’t we first determine exactly what is at risk and what can realistically be done about it if anything needs to be done (doing in mankind is not an acceptable remedy! Stopping shipping and travel, swimming, fishing, boating waterskiing, scuba diving…. ditto). Are we to rely on the lies told by GBR coral troughers? The climate wroughters’ who fiddle and invent temperature data. The Malthusian misanthropes?

March 10, 2023 7:08 pm

… and China will continue to rape the oceans.

March 11, 2023 1:10 am

Just like those “rules” about Climate and Carbon Dioxide, there is no body which can force any nation to abide by their rules, especially since these organisations consist of unelected activists.

March 11, 2023 4:25 am

Kip’s point is non-sequitur. The posts linked clearly says a UN group approved language for a treaty. Which is true and not misleading in any way. ALL treaties start out exactly the same – the hard part is getting multiple nations to agree on language and terms. There IS a treaty now. It simply is a treaty that is not in force and effect until signatory nations sign it and ratify it. ALL treaties work exactly the same, so there is zero point to be made on that most obvious of facts.

Whether and when nations sign and ratify and the treaty goes into force and effect, that is to be determined.

The UNCLOS treaty (“law of the sea”) was drafted decades ago and most but not all nations signed and ratified it. The US accepted most but not all terms in UNCLOS so is counted among the non-ratified.

Javier Vinós
March 11, 2023 5:08 am

Great article, Kip. Clear and concise. Keep up the good work. It is always good to read your insightful articles.

March 13, 2023 6:24 am

My guess: it’s just another component of old Holdren’s plan printed and advertised on schedule even if it’s more dead than alive by now.
«Should a Law of the Sea be successfully established…» etc. http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

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