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A rush to mine the deep ocean has environmentalists worried - Climate Home

Last updated Friday, December 3, 2021 11:47 ET , Source: NewsService

Tiny Nauru is behind a push to fast-track talks on mining rules for the deep seabed, which could see fragile habitats opened to exploitation as early as 2023

Farreid glass sponges found at about 2,360 meters deep pictured at the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National 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 organisation are meeting for contentious talks that could open up the planet’s deep seabed to mining as soon as July 2023.

The ocean floor is rich in mineral deposits, which could provide raw materials to manufacture batteries for electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines. Prospective mining companies see a lucrative opportunity to turbocharge the energy transition.

Yet the cold, dark and inaccessible deep sea is home to a vast array of life, which scientists are just beginning to discover.

Areas of commercial interest are turning out to be some of “the most biodiverse places on Earth,” 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 oceans’ deep, its biodiversity and the role it plays in storing carbon to fully understand the impacts the nascent industry will have, Amon said. “Whatever way you look at it, mining is going to be very destructive in the deep ocean. It’s certain to say that this will be...

Read Full Story: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/12/03/rush-mine-deep-ocean-environmentalists-worried/

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