Research

Kiribati takes direct action to combat climate change and rising sea levels by pioneering new ways for the world to obtain the metals necessary to build clean energy technologies and reduce carbon emissions.

Marawa Research and Exploration Ltd. (a State-owned enterprise of the Republic of Kiribati) has made an application to the International Seabed Authority ("ISA") to explore for seafloor manganese nodules in international waters and carry out related scientific research and environmental studies.

Manganese nodules are rock concretions formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. These potato-shaped nodules vary in size and abundance, and sit on the seafloor surface at water depths generally between 4000m to 6000m below sea level.

These deposits are known to contain potentially economic amounts of manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt; metals which are critical to building clean energy technologies required to address climate change and combat rising sea levels. Without an increase in quantity of these metals it will not be possible for the world to access affordable metal supplies to build the global clean energy infrastructure (wind turbines, solar energy units, electric cars etc.) needed to replace fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. This is because many clean energy technologies are far more metal intensive than traditional forms of energy, requiring far greater quantities of metal to produce the same output of energy.

This issue is particularly acute for Kiribati, which is a low-lying island nation extremely vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels. By researching new ways to supply the world with strategic metals, Kiribati is taking direct action to address global warming and protect the future livelihoods of its citizens.

For more information regarding the impacts of climate change in Kiribati please visit www.climate.gov.ki.