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New App Encourages EV Makers To Say No To Deep Sea Metals

Greenpeace has launched a new app designed to raise awareness about the environmental threats posed by deep sea mining.

Using an interactive interface, the web-app encourages people to learn more about the emerging extractive industry while also providing a way to urge EV makers such as Tesla to commit to keeping deep sea metals out of their supply chains.

Called ‘ Race to the Top’ the immersive web-app, which can be reached at www.racetothetop.app, is part of a global effort by Greenpeace to halt deep sea mining before it starts. It comes amidst growing concerns that the emerging industry will cause extensive environmental destruction to the seafloor and marine life, threatening people’s way of life - especially in the Pacific Ocean where mining operations would start.

"The ocean is a crucial part of the natural system that enables life to exist on planet Earth, and it has already been pushed to the brink by overfishing, pollution and climate change. We cannot now permit the mining industry to put it under further stress by finding new ways to exploit the seabed," says Greenpeace Aotearoa seabed mining campaigner James Hita.

"Many of our Pacific neighbours are calling for a halt to deep sea mining. Countries like Samoa, Palau, and Fiji have formed an alliance calling for a moratorium, while numerous Pacific politicians and civil society groups are backing the call. The New Zealand government still needs to stand in solidarity with our Pacific neighbours and support a global ban on deep sea mining."

"We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop this industry before it even starts. The ‘Race to the Top’ app is a fun and interactive way to take a stand against the serious threat of deep sea mining and protect the ocean that connects and nourishes us. Plus it’s just really cool, with graphics capturing the marvellous creatures that live in the deep as well as the monstrous machines the industry is developing right now to mine the deep."

The mining industry is targeting the electric vehicle market as a potential market for deep sea minerals, but many car makers including Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault and Scania, have already signed an agreement committing to keeping deep sea mined minerals and metals out of the supply chain.

"Commitments by some EV manufacturers to keep deep sea mined minerals and metals out of their supply chain is a huge step in the right direction and shows that deep sea mining is not necessary. Now we need to encourage others to do the same", says Hita.

Right now, the International Seabed Authority is meeting in Jamaica to negotiate rules that would govern deep sea mining. Numerous countries and civil society groups including representatives from Greenpeace are opposing this and calling for a halt to the process.

Says Hita: "The New Zealand Government needs to act now and announce their support for a halt to deep sea mining. Time is short. If governments don’t intervene, mining could start as early as next year."

Deep sea mining is a destructive and untested industry where minerals are sucked up from the ocean floor, and waste materials pumped back into the ocean leaving a sediment plume that smothers marine life, threatening vulnerable ecosystems, fisheries and people’s way of life.

Scientists say that disruptions to the ocean floor may also reduce the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon, adding to the climate crisis.

Greenpeace Aotearoa launched a petition in June calling on the New Zealand government and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta to support a ban on deep sea mining in the Pacific and around the world and already, over 10,000 people have signed.

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