Source: Seas at Risk
As IUCN members voted in favour of a moratorium on deep-sea mining on 8th September at IUCN World Conservation Congress, the European Commission (EC) published its 2021 Strategic Foresight Report, announcing plans to step-up deep-sea mining exploration.
This stands in stark contrast to the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s commitments to strong precautionary measures and the call of the European Parliament for a moratorium. The Commission’s ambiguous stance on deep-sea mining risks to cut deep.
In its 2021 Strategic Foresight Report, the Commission seems primarily concerned with diversifying and securing greater supply of raw materials, concluding that ‘… novel ways of sourcing, such as seabed and space mining need to be explored in accordance with internationally agreed principles and commitments.’
To show true leadership in ocean protection, the Commission must step forward with clear and unequivocal support for a moratorium in international waters. The EU should lead by example, banning deep-sea mining in its territorial waters and setting binding targets to dramatically reduce its material footprint. Those are the top priorities for immediate EU policy action, as outlined in the recent Seas At Risk report Europe at Crossroads.
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