Sad news coming out of Norway. The Norwegian parliament has voted in favour of opening up the deep-sea (in Norwegian waters) to exploration mining. A couple of take aways from this:
1. We don't need minerals from the deep-sea. Several reports from different distinguished institutions indicate that we have sufficient minerals on land to meet demand. Urban recovery (recycling, bio-leaching), more efficient, less wasteful mining practices, rethinking mass mobility and most importantly changing battery technology, tell us we can do better than ripping up ancient and essential ecosystems.
The world's largest EV manufacturers already deploy batteries without cobalt and nickel. Just this week news came out that AI has come up with a battery design that uses 70% less lithium. Solutions abound!
2. The decision by the Norwegian Parliament is for exploration purposes and not yet a decision on commercial extraction. There is still time to stop commercial deep-sea mining.
3. This decision by Norway reinforces the need for a ban on deep-sea mining in international waters (the High Seas). It's one thing trashing sovereign waters for profit but it is quite another opening up half the planet to mining where effective regulation, enforcement and accountability are practically impossible.
It genuinely baffles me that with all the advancements in technology, our commitments towards a circular economy and everything we know about the declining state of our only habitable world, there are those in power that are still stuck in the 20th century. We can do better!
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For the Ocean and Us,