Emmanuel Macron wants to ban the exploitation of the seabed

“I want to be very clear here, true to what I have already said: France supports a ban on any exploitation of the deep seabed. I assume this position and I will take it to international forums”said Emmanuel Macron, on Monday, November 7, in his speech given on the occasion of the opening of the 27me COP for the climate, in Egypt.

This statement made before the Heads of State and Government meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh is unequivocal. Paris is not content to join countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Panama, Germany, Spain and several Pacific island states in favor of a precautionary moratorium on ocean floors, while hoping to gain scientific insights into these ecosystems still largely part ignored.

It is about frustrating the greed of certain mining companies for polymetallic nodules, cobalt or rare earths scattered on the ocean floor. However, France will not be able to end the race to the bottom on its own. “As space has been, the oceans must be a new frontier for cooperation and multilateralism. We must do everything possible to preserve them in terms of climate and biodiversity”supported the President of the Republic.

“Unique Ecosystems”

If the deterioration of the state of health of the marine world is now invited to the great international climate meetings, it is because it plays an essential regulatory role, in particular by absorbing much of the excessive heat due to human activities.

Emmanuel Macron’s commitment comes amid a negotiating session of the International Seabed Authority (ISAF) that will take place in Kingston, Jamaica, until November 11. France’s position was eagerly awaited. On the one hand, because it is among the thirty-seven members of the council of this organization placed under the aegis of the United Nations (UN). On the other hand, because since the UN ocean conference in Lisbon at the beginning of July, during which the President of the Republic had already cautiously advocated, all doubts had not been dispelled. The official pro-exploitation strategy notes, for example, were drawn up under Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Emmanuel Macron speaks out against the exploitation of the deep ocean

The environmental NGOs present at the AIFM were particularly concerned to hear a French diplomat mention, a few days ago, possible compensation for the damage caused to the marine environment. “It doesn’t make sense, these are unique, fragile ecosystems, habitats of endemic species, all destruction is irreversible at the bottom of the ocean”defends Emma Wilson, director of programs for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.

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