Environment

Norway’s Parliament Backs Deep-Sea Mining Plans in Arctic Despite Protests – Reports

 / Go to the mediabankKola Bay, Arctic Ocean / Go to the mediabank

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Norway’s minority government and two key opposition parties agreed to allow deep-sea mining exploration in the Arctic Ocean despite pushback from environmental activists and the fishing industry, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. The government billed the move as an attempt to reduce dependence on China as an exporter of many green industries, as the sea beds are believed to contain sizable deposits of minerals such as copper, cobalt, neodymium and dysprosium, which are necessary for electric batteries and wind turbines. It also pledged strict environmental criteria for the commercial extraction of minerals from the seabed, the report said. However, environmentalists believe that the exploration is fraught with risks for fragile marine ecosystems. “This is the biggest disgrace in Norway’s management of the oceans in modern times, and the final nail in the coffin for Norway’s reputation as a responsible maritime nation,” the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Norway CEO Karoline Andaur was quoted by the Financial Times as saying. The areas proposed for exploration lie in the Barents and Greenland Seas, which could also stoke geopolitical tensions as Russia, the European Union and the United Kingdom dispute Norway’s exclusive mining rights off the Arctic islands, the newspaper said. Economy’Black Day for Norwegian Nature’ as Oslo Plans to Open Its Waters for Deep-Sea Mining21 June 2023, 07:06 GMTIt added that the Nordic nation might use about 280,000 square kilometers (108,108 square miles) for exploration, while each extraction would require parliamentary approval.

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