European Parliament calls for a moratorium on deep sea mining

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June 9 : The European Parliament should promote a moratorium on deep seabed mining until its effects on the environment can be better managed, said Wednesday. This adds to calls for pause on the nascent industry.

A global shift from fossil fuels to electrify the global economy is stoking demand for minerals used to make battery batteries. Some are explored on the seabed, whose ecosystems have yet to be discovered in their entirety.

Using deep sea mining, copper, nickel and manganese would be extracted from potato-sized nodules that come up the sea floor at depths of 4 -- 6 kilometres.

These rocks are particularly abundant in a region of the North Pacific Ocean which spannes millions of kilometers between Hawaii and Mexico.

Environmentalists and some companies have backed a moratorium, saying that too little is known about the effects of disturbing the ocean floor while technical trials have been hit by early glitches.

The UN resolution on offshore mining has not been reviewed by the International Seabed Authority, a U.N. body that postponed deep-sea meetings for July last month.

The position of the European parliament was approved in a report outlined on Wednesday calling for biodiversity targets to be fixed in law.

Lawmakers urged the European Commission to back a moratorium until the effects on the marine environment, biodiversity and human activities at sea can be studied sufficiently and may be managed to ensure not marine biodiversity loss nor degradation of marine ecosystems.

The non-binding resolution is timely as the European Commission and the EU member states are currently debating whether to take a common EU position with the ISA, the civil society group Deep Sea Conservation Coalition said.

We are now calling on them to follow the position that Matthew Gianni is attracted to the European Parliament and the group. The president of the business, Thomas Maloney, was quoted in the New York Times:

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