Following the meeting of global leaders at the UN climate summit in New York this week, Rainforest Foundation UK and Greenpeace Africa have raised the alarm that an agreement between the governments of Norway and France and the Republic of Congo to protect its rainforest and peatlands gives a green light to oil exploitation in one of the world’s most sensitive ecosystems.
The $65 million agreement was signed this month amid much fanfare by French President Emmanuel Macron and his Congolese counterpart Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has recently been embroiled in a number of fresh corruption scandals. It is one of the latest in a string of controversial agreements between Norway and tropical forest countries that have done little to halt deforestation or improve forest governance in recent years, the joint RFUK-Greenpeace statement says.
Simon Counsell, Executive Director of RFUK, said, “At a time when the world desperately needs bold action to tackle the escalating climate emergency, this agreement is yet another example of grandstanding and oil industry greenwashing. It risks laundering the reputation of one of Africa’s longest serving rulers whilst offering very little to those that live and depend on these forests, and who ultimately represent are best hope of saving them”.