PRESS RELEASE: FRANCE CALLS FOR BAN ON DEEP-SEA MINING AT COP27

Date: 7 November 2022

The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC) today welcomed the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron that France is calling for a ban on deep-sea mining.

In his opening speech at COP27, President Macron stated that “La France demande l’interdiction de toute exploitation des grands fonds marins, j’assume cette position et je la porterai dans les enceintes internationales” – France is calling for a ban on all exploitation of the deep seabed – a position which I will relay in international fora.

We know that the consequences of strip mining the ocean floor for metals and minerals will be dire – it will irreversibly destroy important habitats, wipe out species on a mass scale and risks disturbing invaluable carbon storage. States are waking up to the danger that deep-sea mining poses and the DSCC applaud today’s announcement by President Macron” said Matthew Gianni, DSCC Political and Policy Advisor. 

“The tide is turning. Following New Zealand’s announcement of its support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, this news signals a political shift with more and more States prioritising protection of the ocean over exploitation.” said Sofia Tsenikli, DSCC Campaign Lead. “The DSCC is calling on other countries to join a growing group of countries in their rejection of the threat of deep-sea mining – for the ocean, the planet and present and future generations.” 

Already Pacific States Fiji, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa have declared their support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining and New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Costa Rica, Chile, Panama and Ecuador have called for a ‘precautionary pause”

This formalises the statement by President Macron in Lisbon at the UN Ocean Conference, on June 30 where the President stated that a legal framework was needed to stop deep-sea mining. Now President Macron has clearly called for such a ban to be implemented in international fora. Currently the International Seabed Authority is meeting in Kingston, Jamaica.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Full text

President Macron made the announcement during an opening address at COP27. The full statement was as below:

“La France soutient l’interdiction de toute exploitation des grands fonds marins et la portera dans les enceintes internationales. J’assume cette position”.

ISA Council meeting 

ISA member states are currently meeting in Kingston, Jamaica from 31st October – 11th November to agree the rules and regulations that would govern deep-sea mining, were the industry to go ahead. The DSCC are observing negotiations in Jamaica and calling for an urgent intervention by the international community to protect the deep ocean from harm by:

  • Publicly supporting an immediate moratorium or precautionary pause on deep-sea mining; 
  • Calling for an independent investigation and review of the ISA;
  • Calling on ISA member States to prevent the adoption of mining regulations in 2023;
  • Prevent the granting of mining contracts, unless and until there is a robust environmental baseline and it can be clearly demonstrated that deep-sea mining will not harm the marine environment

The DSCC are tracking ISA negotiations via their deep-sea mining negotiations tracker here.

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