Environment: Stop deep-sea mining, says Macron

Environment: French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a legal framework to stop deep-sea drilling. The oceans of the world need to better understand and protect. He urged nations to invest in science.

International interest in deep-sea drilling is growing. Must have appropriate rules. Only then can environmental groups and governments put pressure on it.

Environment: Deep-sea mining are using heavy machinery

Deep-sea mining are using heavy machinery on the ocean floor. It is to suck up small rocks, known as nodules, that contain cobalt, manganese, and other rare metals mostly used in batteries.

“Legislation is needed to stop deep-sea exploration and to prevent new activities that could endanger these ecosystems,” Macron said at a UN conference on the ocean in Lisbon on Thursday.

“And yet, our scientists and adventurers need to do further to more figure out the sea. We need to understand it well to protect it, ”he said.

The president has expressed concern about deep-sea drilling. However, France has obtained an exploration contract from the L’Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (National Institute for Ocean Science) for a 75,000-square-kilometer (29,000-square-mile) area in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. It is the vast Pacific Ocean floor rich in polymetallic nodules.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), a United Nations body, is drafting laws. These are the rules governing drilling on seabed outside the jurisdiction of the state. Seabed mining is not permitted until global rules are established.

Several nations, similar as the Pacific islets of Palau and Fiji but also Chile, have called for a global doldrums on all deep-ocean mining conditioning, citing environmental enterprises and a lack of sufficient scientific data.

But not all countries are against it. China is a leader in deep-sea exploration, with smaller nations joining. Nauru, a small Pacific island nation, made a request to ISA last year. It must do regulations for seabed mining in June 2023.

The G7 agreed last month that it would only approve mining projects that do not harm the environment. UN special envoy for the oceans Peter Thomson told Reuters he believed rules would soon be in place to address those concerns.

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