Check out the top stories from the deep, taken from coverage between 31 July – 7 August 2023
In the Race to Mine the Seabed, China Takes a Hard Line
Author: Todd Woody
The final days of July’s International Seabed Authority meetings were characterized by a clash between China, which favors deep-sea mining, and a growing alliance of countries calling for a moratorium or pause due to a lack of scientific knowledge about the deep ocean ecosystems being targeted.
The meeting ended with most nations refusing to accept mining applications until regulations exist. In total, 21 nations have joined the call for a moratorium or a pause while France has called for a ban on deep-sea mining.
“As an indigenous person from Aotearoa I want to shed light on the significant value of my connection to the deep sea,” Quack Pirihi told the Assembly on Friday. “It is imperative to acknowledge its significance, and why a prohibition on deep-sea mining is the only viable solution to safeguard our collective ocean.”
Deep-sea mining not essential for the energy transition, say activists as extraction talks stall
Source: Eco Business
Author: Rhick Lars Albay
Three-weeks of deep-sea mining negotiations ended on Friday (28 July) with the pro-mining lobby failing to secure a green light to begin industrial deep-sea mining.
A new study found that damages to the seabed after mining could cost US$5.7 million per square kilometre. “It’s clear that most governments do not want their legacy to be green-lighting ocean destruction,” said Greenpeace International Campaigner Louisa Casson.
‘The deep sea is vital to protect the ocean’: Q&A with France’s Hervé Berville
Author: Elizabeth Claire Alberts
At the recent meetings of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), Mongabay’s Elizabeth Claire Alberts spoke with France’s state secretary for the sea, Hervé Berville, to ask him about his country’s position and its current efforts to stop deep-sea mining.
Berville stated: “If France starts deep-sea mining [in its own waters], it could affect a lot of countries. Our responsibility is to make sure that we put the protection of the environment at the core of our public policies. And if we want to protect the environment and tackle climate change, we need to make sure that we protect the ocean, and to protect the ocean we need to protect [against] deep-sea mining. So long story short, for us, it’s vital to protect the deep sea because the deep sea is vital to protect the ocean, and the ocean is vital to tackle climate change.“
In November, France took a strong position on deep-sea mining by declaring that this future activity should be banned in international waters.
Biodiversity risk casts doubt over future of deep-sea mining for investors
Source: Eco Business
Author: Robin Hicks
Analysts warn that investors are growing increasingly wary of the biodiversity risks of deep-sea mining, and so mining companies will find it ever harder to secure the billions needed to extract transition minerals from the ocean floor.
Ratings agency, Fitch, this Monday warned that as biodiversity becomes increasingly relevent across financial markets, high risk activities are likely to lose favour with investors. Fitch analyst Jonathon Smith said: “This could negatively affect future deep-sea mining development through reduced access to capital, particularly if deep-sea mining is subject to negative screening by environmental, social, and governance conscious investors.”