Seabed mining is the process of extracting minerals from the deep sea. Hundreds, even over 1,000 metres below the surface of the water, there is cobalt, nickel, zinc, copper, lead, lithium and other minerals hidden in various sources.
Everyday people use appliances, laptops, phones, electric scooters, and in some countries even electric cars, however, all of these require the use of certain minerals. On the other hand, the deep sea hides the mostly unexplored marine life, species and their habitats.
For this very reason, Norway is facing a dilemma – to choose economy over ecology or vice versa. On the one hand, the political structures have already decided that Norway will be one of the first countries to engage in seabed mining, while on the other hand, researchers, scientists and environmental advocates think that these processes can destroy ecosystems which importance we cannot even comprehend as the ocean is still a very untested concept. There are concerns about environmental impacts, such as habitat destruction, sediment disturbance and water pollution.
- NORWAY HAS KEY OPPORTUNITIES TO ADVANCE ITS TRANSITION AND HELP LEAD THE WORLD ON CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
The good side is that Norway has the experience, technology and working conditions, unlike some countries that export ore. Certainly, Norway is no stranger to industry, the sea and mining, given that the country has been active in this field since the discovery of crude oil, the WWF says. However, the flora and fauna at these depths are still a mystery to everyone. Because of this, several petitions have been launched and appeals forwarded to the European Parliament, but it seems that the government, without the Norwegian Parliament opposing, still has the last say.
Norway is known for implementing many environmental standards – electric cars are everywhere, petrol and diesel cars will soon be banned, while wind generators and solar panels generate renewable energy that does not produce harmful emissions. However, in order for these technologies exist and for Norway to be sustainable, clean and unpolluted, it has to use minerals which require mining. The question is how and at what cost?