Nov 22, 2023

Mexico's commitment to a deep-sea mining moratorium is a truly seismic shift

By Steve Trent

Mexico has become the latest nation to call for a moratorium on deep-sea mining. Mexico was, until today, one of the biggest supporters of deep-sea mining, meaning that their support for a moratorium is a truly seismic shift. Today’s commitment recognises the fundamental role of the deep ocean in supporting all life on Earth, and the clear absence of sufficient scientific evidence to permit the exploitation of one of our planet’s last pristine ecosystems. We should all welcome this significant step in the right direction.

Yesterday, we also saw a major breakthrough in battery technology, with Swedish company Northvolt announcing a new battery which uses none of the raw materials targeted by deep-sea miners. Combined with Mexico’s new commitment, this means the case for deep-sea mining is holed beneath the waterline.

Ever-more countries are calling for a pause to protect the ocean, and it could not be clearer that we do not need and cannot afford a start to deep-sea mining. Instead, we should focus on a circular economy, unlocking the power of recycling and charting a path to true sustainability. I call on all delegates at the upcoming meetings of the International Seabed Authority to work to bring about the moratorium that people and our planet both urgently need.