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Rivian and Renault Join Forces To Temporarily Protect Our Seas

Disregarding the wish of French President Emmanuel Macron, Renault signed a new moratorium with Rivian regarding the deep-sea mining for rare earths. It’s a temporary step, but one made in the right direction. Here’s why it matters.
Renault and Rivian join forces for seabed protection 6 photos
Rivian and Renault sign moratorium to protect the seabedRivian and Renault sign moratorium to protect the seabedRivian and Renault sign moratorium to protect the seabedRivian and Renault sign moratorium to protect the seabedRivian and Renault sign moratorium to protect the seabed
Rivian and Renault agreed to uphold a moratorium on deep-sea mining. This means they won’t be able to use any kind of rare earths coming from the seabed mining industry. Moreover, it calls for a clear demonstration that deep-sea mining will protect marine habitats before work starts.

The decision puts pressure on companies that hoped to become part of the supply chains for the American and French carmakers. One of these entities, as Reuters confirms, is Lockheed Martin, a key player in the defense and aeronautical industry. But the measure is only temporary.

As other electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers already do, Rivian and Renault want to benefit from deep-sea (usually defined as the 200-meter depth zone) exploration and mining. Their current stance is in agreement with what the United Nations (UN) decided. For now, it isn’t allowed to drill on any seabed as a mean for finding rare earths or other useful types of minerals or metals like cobalt, copper, nickel, silver, zinc, or lead.

BMW, Google, and Samsung already signed the moratorium.

Deep-sea mining isn’t something new, but it was triggered by the need to manufacture EVs. Unfortunately for the environment, this way of collecting what we need has never been proven as safe. The key thing here is the large quantities of rare earths that can be found by drilling the seabed. This pricey stuff is just there for the taking and it’s easier to dig for them, even though there are particular needs like having properly trained divers and expensive machinery.

Nonetheless, deep-sea mining is another industry that will thrive on disrupting local ecosystems for human needs. It will happen, but just not now.

Editor's note: Gallery shows pictures of carmaker brands and metals.

 
 
 
 
 

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