Why the worry about deep-sea mining?

Pro-miners argue that deep-sea mining is essential to enable the energy transition. On the Eco-Business podcast, Sian Owen of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition argues why nature’s last frontier should be protected, not exploited.

Nodules on the deep sea floor

Negotiations are underway that could pave the way for commercial mining of the deep sea. These negotiations could be completed as early as next year.

Pro-miners argue that mining the sea floor for minerals such as cobalt, nickel, and copper is essential to enable the transition to clean energy, as these materials are needed to make solar panels and batteries. Environmentalists say there are sufficient resources on land, and warn that mining the sea floor could remove entire habitats, and create pollution in areas that have been undisturbed for millennia. 

Though there is rising demand for the materials humanity needs to transition to clean energy and combat climate change, is there a genuine need to exploit nature’s last frontier to find them?

On this podcast, Sian Owen, global coordinator of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, argues that mining the deep seas shouldn’t happen, no matter what treasures are buried in an environment scientists know less about than the surface of the moon. 

Tune in as we talk about:

  • “The deeper you go, the crazier it gets”: deep-sea biodiversity
  • Why there’s no need to mine the deep sea
  • The countries and companies in pursuit of deep-sea minerals
  • The impact of deep-sea mining on land-based mining
  • What can regular folk do to protect the deep sea floor?


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