Tiny Nauru is behind a push to speed up talks on mining standards for the deep seabed, which could see fragile habitats open up for exploitation as early as 2023
Farreid glass sponges found at a depth of about 2,360 meters in the image of the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument (Photo: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)
In a large building overlooking the sea in Kingston, Jamaica, national members of a little-known international organization gather for controversial talks that could open the planet’s deep seabed to mining as early as July 2023.
The ocean floor is rich in mineral deposits, which could provide raw materials to make batteries for electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines. Potential mining companies see a lucrative opportunity to drive the energy transition.
However, the deep cold, dark, inaccessible sea is home to a wide variety of life, which scientists are just beginning to discover.
Diva Amon, a marine biologist from Trinidad and Tobago, told Climate Home News, with 70-90% of the species discovered there never seen before.
Too little is known about the depths of the oceans, their biodiversity, and the role they play in carbon storage to fully understand the impacts the nascent industry will have, Amon said. “No matter how you look at it, mining will be very destructive in the deep ocean. Surely this will be …
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