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ECOP Wednesdays February 2024

On Wednesday 7 February 2024, EMB and its Young Ambassadors hosted their 16th ECOP Wednesday series event featuring Aiste Klimašauskaitė from the University of Bergen in Norway. Aiste gave a talk on the "Mitigization of the deep-sea mining policy process in Norway". The talk was followed by an interactive Q&A discussion. The event was held over lunch and was one hour long, from 12:00 - 13:00. 

In this edition of the ECOP Wednesdays event series, hosted by the EMB Young Ambassadors and the EMB Secretariat for the EMB ECOP network, Aiste Klimašauskaitė discussed the Mitigization of the deep-sea mining policy process in Norway. 

'Moving beyond oil, the search for new industrial adventures is a theme in Norwegian policymaking. One such venture is deep-sea mining. The process of opening areas for mineral exploration and exploitation on the Norwegian continental shelf is led by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. We analyze this opening process with attention to the policy context and how the expert and science knowledge base is framed and translated between different opening process steps and documents. We do so through document analysis, focusing on the Impact Assessment, the associated commissioned expert reports, and hearing replies. We find that the grand narrative of minerals for energy transition is disconnected from the knowledge base used in the Assessment. Next, we find how the tension between various uncertainties and the need for certainty is dealt with through a tension-releasing tool – mitigization. That is, the technical role of mitigation as a tool to deal with impacts in this case is used as a tool to deal with the impact of the Impact Assessment itself. In sum, the findings show that mineral extraction allows operating in a comfortable, known offshore and policy space, moving from oil to minerals. Here, science knowledge is used not to inform but rather to enable predefined political decisions.'

Aiste collaborates on this work with Laura E. Drivdal.

Aiste Klimašauskaitė introduces herself: I am an MSCA SEAS programme postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen. During my work hours, I often binge on social media discussions about energy transition and the associated deep sea mining debates. To me, this is the place where data is so raw, you can taste it. In parallel, I collect other types of data such as documents. I often see texts as data. Overall, documents and people can tell you a lot about what kind of future is being built through the decisions that are made today. This imagined future motivates my work. By whom and for whom the future is being built? 

You can rewatch the presentation here and find a copy of the slides here.

For any questions, please send an email to

Event Date
Online, Zoom