- As the International Seabed Authority Assembly gathers in Kingston, Jamacia, more than 70 Parliamentarians from 25 countries have renewed their support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.
- The group also urges all members of the ISA Assembly to work swiftly towards this goal.
- Deep sea mining is a potential source of useful metals to enable the world’s transition to renewable energy, but its impact on marine ecosystems and the socieites that rely on them is still poorly understood, even as mining companies race to begin operations.
- This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay.
Without oceans, no life on earth. The statement is clear.
As we, parliamentarians from all around the world, write these words, States are meeting in Kingston for the International Seabed Authority Assembly, where they could decide to prevent the launch of new, massive, oceans-destroying gear used in deep-sea mining.
This is the newest project of the mining industry: opening mines at the bottom of the oceans. Even if the seabed is even less known than the surface of the moon. Even if deep sea mining would irreversibly affect sensitive ecosystems, liberate huge quantities of carbon, and risk harming marine animals such as whales, due to the noise pollution that will be generated.
Energy transition cannot justify such environmental destruction. If we strengthen energy sobriety, efficiency and recycling, we will not have to exploit the deep seabed for our batteries and technology.
This is clearly not the opinion of The Metals Company. Led by the lure of profit, this company has triggered, through the State of Nauru, a two-year rule that could open up the deep seabed to the mining industry, as early as this summer. Since the beginning of July, they could apply for a mining permit at any time.
Since then, the mobilization calling for a moratorium to prevent this madness is growing. Last month, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council denounced the misleading arguments of its defendants. It highlighted the disastrous environmental consequences and contested the commercial interest of this exploitation.
Governments are taking action. From Fiji Republic in June 2022 to Canada in July 2023, 18 States have called for an international moratorium, a precautionary pause or a ban. This growing mobilization is encouraging, but more States need to take a stand against deep sea mining.
Mobilization must be stronger. A huge international movement is taking shape, led by the States already calling for a moratorium.
This is why, from Vanuatu to France, via Cameroon and Portugal, we parliamentarians from all over the world have gathered around an Alliance for a Moratorium on Seabed Mining, and are today calling on our respective States, and all the States of the world, to:
– support the international moratorium on deep-sea mining until we have sufficient knowledge of the risks of this activity on the marine environment, and guarantees that it will not lead to any loss of biodiversity,
– commit to oppose all applications for mining permits,
– and support an extensive reform of the International Seabed Authority.
More than 260 parliamentarians from 50+ different countries have already signed the Global Parliamentary Declaration Calling for a Moratorium on Deep Seabed Mining initiated one year ago at the Lisbon Summit. This number is getting bigger and bigger.
We add our voices to those of the NGOs, scientists, Indigenous peoples and companies that support an international moratorium on these activities, which carry far too great a risk for the environment and the climate. Their launch would run completely counter to the international commitments on biodiversity adopted in Montreal in 2022, the respect for the precautionary principle, the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities.
Finally, we call on our parliamentary colleagues around the world to join us in urgently mobilizing their governments against deep-sea mining.
Caroline Roose, Member of the European Parliament, France
Marie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament, France
Sahar Alqawasmi, Member of the Palestinian National Council, Palestine
Manon Aubry, Member of the European Parliament, France
Margrete Auken, Member of the European Parliament, Denmark
Agho Oliver Bamenju, Member of the National Assembly, Cameroon
Julien Bayou, Deputy, France
Lisa Belluco, Deputy, France
Guy Benarroche, Senator, France
Michael Bernhard, Member of Parliament, Austria
Mockaël Bouloux, Deputy, France
Manuel Bompard, Deputy, France
Daniel Breuiller, Senator, France
Saskia Bricmont, Member of the European Parliament, Belgium
Dr Angela Brown Burke, Member of Parliament, Jamaica
Graciela Camano, Deputy, Argentina
Damien Carême, Member of the European Parliament, France
Sylvain Carrière, Deputy, France
Hugon Claire, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Samuel Cogolati, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Greet Daems, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Severine De Laveleye, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Karen Erodi, Deputy, France
Malte Gallee, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Raquel Garrido, Deputy, France
Bernard Georges, Member of the National Assembly, Seychelles
Clémence Guetté, Deputy, France
Francisco Guerreiro, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
José Gusmao, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Anja Hazekamp, Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands
Laurence Hennuy, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Simon Holmström, Member of the Åland Parliament, Finland
Andrés Ingi Jónsson, member of Alþingi, Parliament of Iceland
Hubert Julien-Laferrière, Deputy, France
Hon Dr Ephraim Abel Kayembe, Member of Parliament, Malawi
Andy Kerbat, Deputy, France
Simon Kofe, Member of Parliament, Tuvalu
Hon. Andy Labonte, Member of the National Assembly, Seychelles
Aurore Lalucq, Member of the European Parliament, France
Pierre Larrouturou, Member of the European Parliament, France
Elise Leboucher, Deputy, France
Charlotte Leduc, Deputy, France
Rebecka Le Moine, Member of Parliament, Sweden
Caroline Lucas, Member of the House of Commons, United Kingdom
Frédéric Mathieu, Deputy, France
Louis Mariage, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Marisa Matias, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal
Thomas Naessens, Member of the Brussels Parliament, Belgium
Nathalie Oziol, Deputy, France
Mathilde Panot, Deputy, France
Francesca Paquini, Deputy, France
Ingrid Parmentier, Member of the Brussels Parliament, Belgium
Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Member of the European Parliament, Denmark
Marie Pochon, Deputy, France
Raymonde Poncet Monge, Senator, France
Loic Prud’homme, Deputy, France
Hon. Ralph Regenvanu, Member of Parliament, Vanuatu
Dharma Raj Regmi, Member of Parliament, Nepal
Sandra Regol, Deputy, France
Manuela Ripa, Member of the European Parliament, Germany
Tristan Roberti, Member of the Brussels Parliament, Belgium
Alfons Röblom, Member of the Åland Parliament, Finland
Astrid Rössler, Member of the National Assembly, Austria
Sandrine Rousseau, Deputy, France
Mounir Satouri, Member of the European Parliament, France
Anne Stambach-Terrenoir, Deputy, France
Nicolas Thierry, Deputy, France
Ernest Urtasun, Member of the European Parliament, Spain
Olivier Vajda, Member of the Federal Parliament, Belgium
Eva Marie van Esch, Member of the House of Representatives, Netherlands
Lammert Van Raan, Member of Parliament, Netherlands
Anthony Vieira, Member of Parliament, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Niinistö Ville, Member of the European Parliament, Finland
Nicolas Walder, Member of Parliament, Switzerland
Léo Walter, Deputy, France
Jennifer Whitmore, Member of Parliament, Republic of Ireland
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