The Norwegian Conservative, Labour, Centre, and Progress Parties have agreed on an incremental opening of deep-sea mining in the Arctic. Environmental organisations, the Socialist Left Party, the Red Party, and the Left Party are reacting strongly to the decision.
Despite concerns about environmental impact and international calls for a moratorium, Norway hopes to become the first country to make deep-sea mining happen on a commercial scale and secure critical minerals and jobs.
However, environmental groups oppose the decision.
The environmental foundation Bellona believes it is a dangerous derailment in the climate fight to open up the extraction of minerals in the seabed.
Norway opening up for deep-sea mining in the Arctic completely contradicts scientific recommendations and will make Norway an international environmental disaster, says Team Lead for Materials and Industry in Bellona. […] seabed minerals are too late and are a derailment and a dangerous distraction that delays the fight against climate change. We need to use the resources for more sustainable mining on land, he continues.
The Team Lead for Materials and Industry in Bellona believes that it is of little help that the Conservative Party has included in the settlement that there must be political processing before the opening of new fields, corresponding to the Guidelines for Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) in the oil sector.
There is little knowledge about these areas, the ecosystems, and life forms.
It is insane to open huge areas for mining when we know nothing about the consequencesHead of Friends of the Earth Norway
The area in question lies in the middle of the North Atlantic between Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and Svalbard.
Friends of the Earth Norway believes this could be the most extensive nature intervention in Norway ever, in Norway's last real wilderness and an area the size of 3/4 of Norway's land area.
The Head of Friends of the Earth Norway points out that these are very special ecosystems that are little explored and that there are unknown consequences for digging on the seabed, which can have a negative impact on life higher up in the food chains on which Norway depends.
Source: High North News