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The Greening of AntarcticaAssembling an International Environment$
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Alessandro Antonello

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190907174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190907174.001.0001

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Mining the Deep South

Mining the Deep South

Exploitation, Environmental Impact, and Contested Futures

(p.77) 3 Mining the Deep South
The Greening of Antarctica

Alessandro Antonello

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the debates surrounding possible exploitation of minerals in Antarctica between 1969 and 1977. In the late 1960s several mineral and oil companies began investigating whether Antarctica could be exploited. This worried the Antarctic Treaty parties, for there was no agreed upon framework for regulating mineral exploitation. In the context of (apparent) global resource scarcity and the spread of offshore oil exploitation in the Arctic, the treaty parties tried to develop a framework for managing mineral exploitation. Although by 1977 they had only agreed on a moratorium, this chapter demonstrates the contours of their debates, especially the temporalities of their negotiations (focused on the future), and the centrality of the concept of “environmental impact” in the conceptual frameworks of both scientists and diplomats.

Keywords:   Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, SCAR, Antarctic Treaty, minerals, environmental impact assessment

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