US asks DRC to pull oil blocks from auction to protect forests | Climate News

Authorities within the central African nation launched bids for 30 oil and gas blocks in July.

United States climate envoy John Kerry on Tuesday said Washington had asked the Democratic Republic of Congo to desert some oil blocks that it put up for auction in sensitive environmental areas.

Authorities within the central African nation launched bids for 30 oil and gas blocks in July.

However the move was controversial, drawing criticism from green groups which warned that drilling within the Congo Basin’s rainforests and peatlands could release vast amounts of heat-trapping gas.

Talking to reporters on the pre-COP27 climate talks in Kinshasa, Kerry said the US had asked the DRC’s government to “withdraw some tracts to guard the forest”.

The previous US secretary of state also said there was a method to provide employment and economic development without putting sensitive environmental areas resembling “really critical peatlands” in danger.

“We would like to balance,” Kerry said, adding that he was because of meet Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to debate the problem later today.

Scientists have sounded several warnings in regards to the DRC’s peatlands, which comprise an area in regards to the size of England.

Roughly 30 billion tonnes of carbon are stored across the whole thing of the Congo Basin, researchers estimated in a 2016 study in Nature magazine. The figure is roughly akin to three years of worldwide emissions.

The DRC government has maintained that exploiting its oil and gas resources is an economic necessity that might help its residents.

Some three-quarters of the Congolese population survive lower than $1.90 a day, in response to World Bank figures, despite the DRC having fun with huge reserves of minerals, starting from gold and copper to cobalt.

Addressing delegates on the pre-COP27 opening ceremony on Monday, Congolese environment minister Eve Bazaiba asked if the federal government should let children die reasonably than take advantage of its fossil resources.

“As much as we want oxygen, we also need bread,” she said.


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