DRC refuses to withdraw oil auction to protect forests

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government has rejected a request by US climate envoy John Kerry to withdraw 30 oil and gas blocks that were put up for auction in July this year. Kerry requested the withdrawal at Pre-COP talks in Kinshasa at the beginning of this month, in order to protect forests. Deputy Prime Minister and Environmental Minister Eve Bazaiba argued that this might undermine the country’s development, stating in an interview with Reuters that “Nobody can put pressure on us… no convention in the world, not even the Paris Agreement, forbids a country from emitting CO2 for development reasons”. The country has also said it will try to minimise the environmental impact by using modern drilling methods and tight regulation. 

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