Greenpeace encourages electric vehicle manufacturers to avoid deep sea mining products

Greenpeace's new web app
It comes amid concerns that practice could cause extensive environmental destruction. Photo credit: Supplied / Greenpeace

Greenpeace has launched a new web-based app that encourages people to learn more about the threats from deep sea mining, and particularly how electric vehicle (EV) makers could take a stand.

'Race to the Top' is designed to help people learn more about the emerging industry, while also providing direct ways to urge EV makers such as Tesla to commit to keeping deep sea metals and minerals out of their supply chains.

It comes amid growing concerns that deep sea mining could cause extensive environmental destruction to the seafloor and marine life, while also threatening people's way of life.

According to Greenpeace, the mining industry is targeting EV manufacturers as a potential market for deep sea minerals.

Many car makers - including Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault and Scania - have already signed an agreement committing to avoiding mined minerals and metals but more can be done.

"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", said Greenpeace Aotearoa seabed mining campaigner James Hita.

"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," he said.

Hika said many of Aotearoa's Pacific neighbours had already called for a halt to deep sea mining and it is time for the NZ Government to stand in solidarity with them.

"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," he said.

"We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop this industry before it even starts."

The website allows users to click on the logos of different car manufacturers to see what they have committed to.

For those that have committed to a moratorium, a 'thank you' tweet can be shared from the app, while for those - like Tesla, General Motors and Ford - that haven't yet committed can be sent a tweet to encourage them to do so.

"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," Hita said.