As deep sea mining talks end, Greenpeace calls for a mining moratorium, not regulations that allow destruction

As deep sea mining talks end, Greenpeace calls for a mining moratorium, not regulations that allow destruction

KINGSTON, JAMAICA — A new meeting of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Council, made up of 36 governments, finished today in Kingston, Jamaica, with the United Kingdom becoming the 23rd country to announce its support for a moratorium or a precautionary pause on deep sea mining. A few weeks earlier, Monaco officially announced its support for putting a halt to the development of this destructive industry.  

“Each new announcement of support for a moratorium is a beacon of hope for the deep sea and the global ocean. It reflects the growing recognition by the international community of the urgent need to protect our oceans,” said François Chartier, head of the Greenpeace International delegation attending the negotiations. “However, more countries still need to acknowledge that the world does not want or need deep sea mining and put the brakes on this industry,” he added.

While the ISA continues its negotiations of mining regulations, known as the mining code, more scientists, businesses, indigenous peoples, and other civil society groups have continued to show their opposition to deep sea mining. This industry would bring about irreversible biodiversity loss to the global ocean, already under enormous stress from climate change, acidification, pollution, and other impacts resulting from human activities.

“We urge states to move away from negotiating a mining code that would pave the way for the start of another extractive industry and focus instead on putting in place a moratorium on deep sea mining. A moratorium is the only responsible way for states to fulfill their obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention to protect the marine environment,” said Chartier.

At the end of this latest 10-day round of negotiations, the mining code is still very far from being finalized, and many critical divergences of opinion persist among state parties. There is significant discomfort among some delegations about being pushed to rush these negotiations simply because one single company, The Metals Company, is ignoring the need for more science and using a legal loophole to speed up the process. 

Known as the “two-year rule,” the provision embedded in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) obligates the ISA to “consider and provisionally approve” applications two years after they are submitted, whether it has finalized regulations or not. At the deadline this past July, the ISA Council reached a decision that repeated governments’ unwillingness to green-light deep sea mining without any rules. However, TMC subsequently announced that they will apply for an exploitation contract after the ISA’s meeting in July 2024, irrespective of whether governments have completed their work or not, and will also increase their mining capacity. 

“Contrary to what the deep sea mining industry claims, deep sea mining is not a solution to the climate crisis. Deep sea minerals are not needed for a green energy transition. Instead, it represents the continuation of the same extractive model that we have seen with oil and gas and will only serve to open the last remaining frontiers of the world — the deep ocean — to massive destruction,” said Chartier.    



Brandon Wei, Communications officer, Greenpeace Canada; +1 778-772-6138

Tanya Brooks, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist

P:  703-342-9226, E: 

,Read More  Greenpeace Canada  

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