Funds call for deep sea mining review

37 financial institutions have released a joint statement calling on governments not to proceed with deep seabed mining until the environmental risks are assessed.

The firms, including funds with EUR3.3 trillion AUM, have released the The Global Financial Institutions Statement to Governments on Deep Seabed Mining, coordinated by the Finance for Biodiversity (FfB) Foundation. It has been published before the meeting of the International Seabed Authority scheduled from July 24-28 which has the potential to grant commercial authorisation for deep-sea mining for the first time.

The letter says, “The assumption that deep-sea mining is a key solution for the provision of minerals required for the economic transition to meet climate change goals is heavily contested. Emerging research is already showing that more investment in the circular economy could be a more effective way to achieve the transition to a net-zero economy.”

Saker Nusseibeh, CEO of Federated Hermes says, “Deep-sea mining could pose irreversible damage to complex, unique and highly biodiverse ocean ecosystems, which are important sources of economic value for nearly half of the world’s population. The value of marine and costal resources is estimated by the United Nations Development Programme to be USD3 trillion per year. Therefore, more scientific research and analysis is required to understand the risks around deep sea mining, better inform decision-making and avoid irreparable damage.”

Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management says, “We must remember that the deep sea is really one of the very few pristine ecosystems remaining, and to just open [it up] for exploitation without insight is close to madness. There is increasing recognition that biodiversity loss is a true financial risk and something we must consider when we invest in companies.”

Signatory financial institutions

The following 36 financial institutions signed the letter: Achmea; Achmea Investment Management; Aéma Groupe; Allianz France; Andra AP-fonden; AP3; ASR Nederland N.V.; Australian Ethical Investment; Avesco Sustainable Finance AG; Aviva Plc; Change Finance, PBC; CZ Group; Domini Impact Investments LLC; ERAFP; Etica Funds – Responsible Investments; Federal Finance Gestion; Federated Hermes Limited; GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG; Karner Blue Capital; La Banque Postale Group; La Financière de l’Echiquier; Mirova; Montpensier Finance; Nordea Asset Management; Oakham Wealth Management Ltd; Ossiam; Pictet Group; Rathbone Greenbank Investments; Robeco; Schelcher Prince Gestion; Storebrand Asset Management; Swedbank Robur; Tribe Impact Capital; Triodos Bank; UBP Asset Management; WHEB Asset Management; and Zencap Asset Management.