Deep-sea mining: building EU resistance

Seas At Risk

Seas At Risk (SAR) is an association of environmental NGOs from across Europe, working together to ensure that life in our seas and oceans is abundant, diverse, climate resilient, and not threatened by human activities. Its mission is to promote ambitious policies for marine protection at European and international level. With over 30 members representing the majority of European countries, Seas At Risk speaks for millions of citizens that care deeply about the health and well-being of seas and oceans.

Funding by the Levine Family Foundation (May 2021-April 2022) supported Seas At Risk’s advocacy work against deep-sea mining. The deep sea drives ocean currents that regulate the climate, hosts unique ecosystems, is an important part of the food web and is the origin of all life on earth. And yet the surging demand for metals is now driving the mining industry into our planet’s last frontier. 

Seas At Risk works to reduce EU and international support for deep-sea mining by advocating sustainable consumption and production alternatives. With support by the Levine Family Foundation, Seas At Risk developed an advocacy and communication strategy around two important reports published in 2021.

  • Breaking free from mining – A 2050 blueprint for a world without mining, on land and in the deep-sea’, discusses existing and emerging alternatives to shift towards a society that is based on needs rather than growth, on wellbeing, and on the use of resources within the limits of our planet. It includes a wide range of inspiring examples of measures to reduce the use of metals in sectors such as energy, transport, urbanisation and digitisation.
  • At a crossroads: Europe’s role in deep-sea mining’ exposes the role played by the EU, its Member States, the United Kingdom and Norway in this final mining frontier. This report puts forward 10 steps for Europe to support deep-sea protection – from setting binding targets for the reduction of the EU’s material footprint and prohibiting deep-sea mining in EU and international waters, to reforming the International Seabed Authority (ISA).