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As demand for rare metals rises, rush to mine seabed prompts calls for moratorium

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in The Japan Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Deep-sea mining of polymetallic nodules rich in minerals, necessary for green technologies, is up for debate at an International Seabed Authority (ISA), the U.N. body responsible for regulating the high seaskey U.N.
• The Metals Company (TMC), leading the deep-sea mining efforts, argues that this method has less environmental impact than land-based extraction

🔭 The context: Environmentalists and scientists express concerns over potential extensive damage to marine ecosystems that we know little about
• Over a dozen nations have sponsored small-scale exploration projects, yet commercial mining in international waters is not currently allowed

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Growing concerns about the potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining, which according to a Planet Tracker report could significantly harm biodiversity more than terrestrial mining, are on the rise due to its potentially extensive area of influence

⏭️ What's next: The International Seabed Authority (ISA) meeting will be crucial in determining the future of deep-sea mining
• Nauru's (a tiny Pacific island nation) 2021 notice to start deep-sea mining has pressured ISA to either complete an industry rulebook within two years or approve mining plans under existing regulations

💬 One quote: "A vote for a moratorium is a vote against science, it’s as simple as that" (Gerard Barron, CEO of The Metals Company)

📈 One stat: The International Energy Agency projects that achieving net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions would quadruple mineral demand for clean energy technologies

Click for more news covering the latest on Environmental Sustainability

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