Canada Joins Nearly 20 Nations Calling for Halt to Deep-Sea Mining as Negotiators Meet to Agree Rules – by Yusuf Khan (Wall Street Journal – July 11, 2023)

Proponents say seabed can provide a less destructive source of nickel, manganese and other battery materials needed for energy transition

Canada is the latest country to come out against deep-sea mining, the controversial practice of harvesting battery metals from the seafloor, just as nations gather to start agreeing rules around the practice.

This week, delegates of the International Seabed Authority—a United Nations observer organization that regulates deep-sea mining in international waters—are descending on ISA headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica to hash out the regulations around deep-sea mining over the next two weeks.

Canada, Ireland and Switzerland have all recently joined calls—by nearly 20 countries—for a moratorium or at least a pause on deep-sea mining. They join green groups in raising concerns over its environmental impact. However, proponents say the practice is a relatively less destructive new source of the materials critical for the energy transition. Norway recently opened the door to deep-sea mining in its waters.

“The Government of Canada is committed to the responsible and sustainable management and use of ocean resources. This requires the advancement of strong environmental, social and governance principles, and an adherence to science-based policy and decision-making,” Global Affairs Canada said on Monday.

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