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Defend the deep – stop deep-sea mining

The Arctic’s deep seas could be next on the list for plunder if mining companies are given the go-ahead to exploit the ocean depths, the environmental cost will be devastating.

Deep sea mining involves the extraction of minerals, such as cobalt, nickel, copper and manganese, from the depths of the ocean, with hordes of large mining machines moving along the seafloor like bulldozing combine harvesters, scooping up the so-called polymetallic nodules and whatever else is in their path. Everything will be disturbed.

The main argument being put forward is the fact that this is ‘needed’ or ‘crucial’ for the green transition. Mining companies describe polymetallic nodules as a battery in a rock and consider harvesting them the cleanest path towards clean energy and electric vehicles.

But a successful “green transition” must not perpetuate the same extractivist model that has driven climate change in the first place. Minerals and metals for such a transition should be obtained from consumption reduction, innovation in battery making, a circular economy and better reuse and recycling of materials – not from the ocean depths, where brutal mining can cause irreparable damage to nature like it already does on land. The scientific community agrees that we should put a moratorium in place to press the pause button on deep-sea mining because the ecosystems are not very well known, and the impacts of deep-sea mining would have an irreversible effect on climate and biodiversity.

Thanks to global collaborative efforts, 24 states are calling for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and France is calling for a full ban. 🚫🌊⛏️

But then, there is Norway, willing to open the doors to deep-sea mining in the fragile and pristine Arctic Ocean. Last year, the Norwegian government proposed to open an area the size of Italy for deep-sea mining. On the 9th of January, the parliament allowed to explore deep-sea mining in this area. The mining has not started yet, let’s keep it that way.

Take action by signing the Avaaz petition and call for an end to #DeepSeaMining. Let’s spread the message far and wide and #DefendTheDeep.

Elise & Joy

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