Norway breaches law over deep-sea mining plans

The environmental group WWF-Norway is suing Norway for opening up its seabed for deep-sea mining, arguing that the Norwegian government has failed to thoroughly investigate its consequences.

According to WWF-Norway, the country’s decision has breached Norwegian law and sets a “dangerous precedent” within the industry.

Karoline Andaur, CEO of WWF-Norway, comments, “We believe the government is violating Norwegian law by now opening up for a new and potentially destructive industry without adequately assessing the consequences.”

Despite warnings from scientists of “catastrophic” consequences for marine life, Norway became the first country in the world to allow for commercial deep-sea mining. According to an assessment by the Norwegian Energy Ministry, the move fails to meet the minimum requirements of the Seabed Minerals Act. However, the Norwegian Environment Agency, which advises the government, claims that the assessment does not provide a sufficient scientific or legal basis for deep-sea mining.

“We believe that a thorough process has been carried out with broad involvement, and that the applicable requirements have been followed. I note that WWF wants to try the case in court, and they have the right to do so. At this time, we have no further comment on the lawsuit,” commented Astrid Bergmål, the secretary of state at the Ministry of Energy.