The business coalition comprises of corporate endorsers calling for a moratorium on deep sea mining activities.
There is widespread concern in the scientific community about deep seabed mining (DSM) and the irreversible impact it would have on delicately balanced deep ocean ecosystems. Economists are also projecting far-reaching consequences for the industries and communities that depend on a healthy ocean. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) – the agency that, paradoxically, is responsible for licensing DSM while also protecting the ocean from its impact – has proven itself unfit for purpose. We urgently need to change course, before irreparable damage is done.
The ocean is worth more than just the value of its finite resources. The intrinsic long-term benefits of a healthy ocean far outweigh any short-term incentives offered by deep seabed mining. Opening up this new frontier for extraction would destabilize delicate ocean ecosystems and fatally undermine the foundations of a circular ocean economy. A global moratorium on all deep seabed mining activities is urgently needed. Extraction must not go ahead until the environmental, social and economic risks are understood, and all alternatives to deep sea minerals have been explored. Then appropriate regulation will be needed to protect the marine environment and human well-being.
The move away from fossil fuels to electrify the global economy is creating an ever-increasing demand for the materials that go into batteries, some of which are found on the seabed whose ecosystems have yet to be fully explored. The coalition, therefore, recognises that the private sector is a key stakeholder in controlling the demand and has the responsibility to find sustainable and responsible solutions for their mineral supply. This business call for a moratorium on deep seabed mining was then created as a platform for companies to take a stand on this potentially devastating activity and play a critical role in influencing policy decisions that will pave the way and set the correct standards for humanity to move forward.