|Consultation:||FYEG General Assembly 2022|
|Agenda item:||4. Resolutions|
|Replaces:||R6: Deep-sea mining|
R6new: Deep-sea mining
Mining resources comes with negative impacts on the environment that should be
reduced to a minimum. At the same time, a just transition to a carbon-neutral
society is only possible when key parts of our infrastructure are renewed.
However, this transition requires mining resources in itself; cadmium is for
example needed for the construction of solar panels. Some methods of mining are
more harmful to the environment than other methods. Underwater mining is
especially harmful to the environment and should therefore be prohibited.
According to “Seas to risk” report: “Areas approved for deep-sea mining (DSM)
exploration now cover over 1.3 million square kilometres in the Pacific, Indian
and Atlantic Oceans. Of the 30 exploration contracts the International Seabed
Authority (ISA) has established so far, European contractors hold a total of
nine. Countries sponsoring or holding contracts include Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Poland, France, Germany and the UK”.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has launched a
moratorium on deep-sea mining. It has called on its member states to implement a
moratorium on deep-sea mining and the issuance of contracts for exploitation and
exploration. Environmental and biodiversity NGOs have welcomed this measure.
But many European countries continue the race to exploit the mineral resources
of the seabed even though this has devastating consequences on the 250,000 known
living species and on the millions we do not yet know of and the fact that
mining releases huge amounts of carbon, which reduces the capacity of the oceans
to slow down climate change.
We can mention the Solwara 1 project planned to mine mineral-rich hydrothermal
vents in the Bismarck Sea, part of the Pacific Ocean, not far from Bougainville
Island. This is the first deep-sea mining project at the international level
that was approved but then brought to a halt because of environmental
destruction. Other tentative projects are the ones planned near the Canary
Islands. The so-called “grandmothers of the Canary Islands” are composed of more
than 100 seamounts that cover the bottom of the sea, located about 269 miles
south of the island of El Hierro. They are extinct submarine volcanoes with
important mineral deposits of manganese crusts, polymetallic nodules, and
phosphorites. The European Union has formally declared that the grandmothers of
the Canary Islands are a strategic reserve of raw materials necessary for the
On the other hand, European countries and the EU have made the security of the
supply of raw materials one of their priorities. It encourages the exploration
of new frontiers and innovative mining methodsunder the pretext that the
ecological transition requires the use of rare minerals such as cobalt used for
the batteries of electrical devices.
We refuse to use the ecological transition to go and exploit and destroy the
The "Sustainable Blue Economy" strategy adopted by the European Commission
foresees that the EU defends the conditional exploitation of seabed mineral
resources in the international area after sufficient research has been carried
out on the impact on the marine environment, biodiversity, and human activities.
The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) is unambiguous: our biodiversity
has to be protected – whether on land or underground.
We must make our continent a global leader in sustainable development. When
building a sustainable Europe, we cannot forget to protect our seabed.
WHAT WE STAND FOR:
Ban on deep-sea mining in European waters as well as on the continent.
Ban on processing minerals from the seabed in Europe and ban on importing
products containing minerals from the seabed into Europe (similar to the
ban on conflict minerals).
Ban private deep-sea mining research projects and those for economic
purposes, and only fund public deep-sea science research projects, such as
those by academia and international institutions, that look into
sustainable methods and contribute to our understanding of deep-sea
ecosystems, in order to form a scientific consensus that deep sea mining
can be done sustainably.
Increase waste recycling rates to 80% to recover raw materials and
facilitate recycling across Member States, by giving Member States with
the capacity to mass-recycle the possibility to buy disposed material from
other Member States. Special attention is given to the recycling of e-
waste, thus precious minerals and metals used for the production of
technology in order to phase-out mining. To increase and improve waste
recycling, European legislation should require producers to design
products so that they can be easily recycled, for example by not mixing
plastic with paper packaging.
Producers have to sell products designed to last as long as possible.
Producing products that stop working after an artificially short amount of
time is not only a burden for the consumers, but also the environment
since it increases demand for new products, and therefore resources. To
alleviate the pressure on our environment, and to reduce the need for
underwater mining, artificial lifetime limitations, including negligent or
avoidable obsolescence, must be banned across Europe. To stimulate the
production and purchase of sustainable products, the lifespan of consumer
technologies has to be included on its packaging.
- Enabling a local and decentralized repair industry on national and
European level, by providing financial and educational incentives to
create local repair shops that can perform repairs on the widest range of
goods possible at the lowest prices possible.
- Ban the design of products that can exclusively be repaired by the
manufacturers of the product.
- The right to repair must be enshrined in European law. All consumer
technologies should be able to be repaired by consumers themselves when
needed. This includes creating legislation that sets minimum design
requirements to ensure easy disassembly and replacement of key components.
Similarly, producing products that are difficult or impossible to be
repaired is a burden for consumers and the environment as it leads to
unnecessary excess demand.
We call for respect for the biodiversity of the seabed and respect for the right
of marine biodiversity to develop freely without human intervention.
Through this motion, we want to affirm our refusal to participate in this race
for scarce resources which is destructive to our marine biodiversity and which