“Last month, dozens of scientists warned the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, that allowing industrial-scale exploitation of the seabed could have grave consequences.”
By Phillip Pearson
Britain has shifted its position and now backs a moratorium on commercial deep-sea mining, after criticism from scientists, MPs and environmentalists of its previous stance in support of the emerging industry.
According to the Only One campaign:
“Despite formidable lobbying from the mining sector, the previous International Seabed Authority meeting in July 2023 yielded a positive outcome, with no mining regulations adopted that would allow operations to commence. Discussion on the moratorium was officially on the meeting’s agenda for the first time in its history.”
On 30 October 2023, the UK government announced it would back a temporary suspension on supporting or sponsoring any exploitation licences to mine metals from the sea floor until ‘enough scientific evidence’ was available to understand the impact on ecosystems.
The threats to deep marine ecosystems are immense and irrecoverable damage is forecast. Last month, dozens of scientists warned the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, that allowing industrial-scale exploitation of the seabed could have grave consequences, both for marine life and for the ability of the ocean – one of the planet’s greatest carbon sinks – to absorb carbon dioxide.
You can see what we’re up against with this anti-wokery headline from the Telegraph: “Banning it before we explore it? That’s Britain alright.”
They claim deep sea mining could supply critical minerals that we will need for a green energy transition. It will enable us to massively increase our production of raw materials without creating any ugly eyesores or using up precious space. Yep, that’s because it takes place at ocean depths of 12,000 feet or more. Out of sight, out of mind?
- This article was originally published by the Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) November 2023 Newsletter – you can read the newsletter in full here.
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