Environmentalists warn – Congo: Unrest over oil and gas plans in rainforest


The Democratic Republic of Congo wants to expand oil and gas production in the rainforest. Environmental groups are opposing the plans.

Energy Minister Didier Budimbu announced in Kinshasa on Tuesday that oil and gas prospecting rights would be auctioned in about 30 regions of the Central African country. Environmentalists warn of the destruction of nature and the release of large amounts of climate-damaging CO2 bound in the wetlands of the Congo Basin.

According to government information, the reconnaissance areas – so-called “blocks” – are in the jungle-covered center of the country and in the east in the Great Lakes region. The auctions will start next week, Minister Budimbu said.

Large amounts of CO2 threaten to be released
Not only the exploration areas themselves, but also areas through which transport routes would have to pass could be significantly destroyed. According to calculations by Greenpeace, about 30 gigatons of CO2 are bound in the ecologically sensitive area of ​​Cuvette Centrale – this corresponds to the worldwide emissions of three years. Drilling there could release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, Greenpeace Africa warned.

Source: Krone


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