At the Kinshasa pre-COP27, the South makes itself heard

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&Pre-COP27 in Kinshasa, the South makes itself heard

Eve Bazaiba, Deputy Prime Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development (in green) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, poses with Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and the other participants at the pre-COP27 summit, in Kinshasa .

As expected, the countries of the South pleaded their case and held the industrialized world to its responsibilities during the two days of the “pre-COP27” organized in Kinshasa, a month of the climate summit scheduled for November in Egypt.

Environment ministers and experts from some 60 countries wrapped up discussions Tuesday evening on the usual topics of climate negotiations: adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage.

There was no final declaration, but that is what these pre-COPs are all about, places of casual discussion, recalled Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, negotiator for the Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at United Nations climate conferences.

“Countries can talk bolder, bolder, knowing that nothing will be forced upon them as a final conclusion.

—Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, Negotiator for the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Not everyone agrees, but everyone identified the x27;urgent climate action. From a climate diplomacy perspective, this is a success, he said.

The Minister of the Environment of the DRC, Eve Bazaïba, maneuvering for weeks to pilot this pre-COP co-organized with Egypt, also seemed satisfied by announcing during the day the upcoming formation of a common front of the major forest countries of the DRC, Brazil and Indonesia.

It will be a question of presenting themselves in force to the negotiations on the climate and biodiversity to talk about preserving forest cover, but also about access to climate finance and the price per tonne of carbon.

In the heart of the Congo Basin, the DRC had set the tone from the opening of the pre-COP.

Like many other developing countries, the DRC will find it increasingly difficult to make a choice between the fight against extreme poverty and the heavy bill to pay for adaptation to climate change, if industrialized countries do not offer alternatives technological and financial resources.

“We need oxygen, we also need bread. »

— Eve Bazaïba, Minister of the Environment of the DRC

The Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, was angry with those who would like to prevent the DRC to exploit its oil, while European countries have just reconnected with polluting energies to compensate for the energy deficit caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The Congolese government launched tenders for 30 oil and gas blocks in late July, drawing criticism from environmental groups. These argue that oil exploitation in the forests and peatlands of the Congo Basin risks releasing large amounts of carbon.

In front of the press, the American special envoy for the climate John Kerry indicated that Washington had asked Kinshasa to give up the blocks located in sensitive areas. The day before, he had already judged it possible to find a balance between the need to protect the Congo Basin and the requirements of development and job creation.

Congolese speeches opening of the works were described as virulent, even going to war by some participants in the pre-COP.

But this meeting was very useful, said, among others, the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

I arrived here a little worried, given the geopolitical tensions or expectations and disappointments since COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, she told AFP.

“I leave with the feeling that this event has made it possible to tighten positions, to reiterate the urgency of action, to clearly define the areas on which we can move forward. »

— Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French Minister for Energy Transition

The subject of loss and damage (or harm) caused by climate change will be discussed in Sharm-el-Sheikh, said continued the Minister, because this is an essential question […] which concerns all countries struggling with irreversible damage from climate change.

You have to be pragmatic , to have results and to simplify access to financing, rather than creating yet another fund which will arouse the same reservations…

Developing countries would like them to #x27;there is an institution to bring consistency to what is already being done, noted Mr. Mpanu Mpanu. There is a bit of tension, not all countries see things the same way…

After the ministerial discussions, the pre-COP27 ends on Wednesday with side events, giving more voice to young people and civil society in the Congo Basin.

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