The companies are the first global businesses to support a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) call for a moratorium on mining the seabed. This should cause a rethink by firms planning to mine the deep ocean this decade. The signatories have also said they will not finance any deep-sea mining companies.
Brands join the increasing chorus of concern about the significant risks to economies and to ocean health that would arise from opening up the deep seabed to the extraction of minerals. Calls for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining are coming from diverse actors, including scientists, communities, the fishing industry, political leaders, NGOs including DSCC, WWF, ECO and now also from companies.
“Before any potential deep seabed mining occurs, it needs to be clearly demonstrated that such activities can be managed in a way that ensures the effective protection of the marine environment,” they said in the statement.
“All alternatives to deep-sea minerals must be explored as a matter of urgency, with a focus on reducing demand for primary metals, transitioning to a resource-efficient, closed-loop materials economy, and developing responsible terrestrial mining practices,” the statement said.
“All alternatives to deep-sea minerals must be explored as a matter of urgency, with a focus on reducing demand for primary metals”
WWF and others calling for the moratorium are asking that deep seabed mining activities be put on hold until the environmental, social and economic risks are comprehensively understood; all alternatives to adding more minerals into the resource economy are exhausted, and it is clearly demonstrated that deep seabed mining can be managed in a way that ensures the effective protection of the marine environment and prevents loss of biodiversity.
Mining the ocean floor has been promoted as an alternative to land-based mining, as demand for minerals like cobalt and nickel, is expected to increase with the green energy transition.
Jessica Battle, leader of WWF’s No Deep Seabed Mining Initiative, said deep seabed mining is an avoidable environmental disaster. “We can decarbonize through innovation, redesigning, reducing, reusing and recycling.”
For further information see:
No Sea Bed Mining – Call for a Moratorium
Brands Back Call for Moratorium on Deep Seabed Mining
BMW, Volvo, Google and Samsung call for ban on deep-sea mining