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“An Irrevocable Black Mark”: Widespread Condemnation as Norway Approves Deep Sea Mining

HeadlineJan 10, 2024

Norwegian lawmakers voted 80 to 20 to allow deep sea mining despite widespread warnings and condemnation from scientists, environmentalists, as well as the U.K. government and the EU. Norway’s government says seabed exploitation could help power an economy less reliant on fossil fuels. One of the Earth’s remaining untouched habitats, the deep sea contains raw materials including cobalt, zinc and gold. Under Norway’s new plans, companies will have to apply for exploration licenses and exploitation permits. The Environmental Justice Foundation called the decision “an irrevocable black mark on Norway’s reputation as a responsible ocean state,” adding, “We know so little about the deep ocean, but we know enough to be sure that mining it will wipe out unique wildlife, disturb the world’s largest carbon store, and do nothing to speed the transition to clean economies.”

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