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An: The following German federal ministers: A. Baerbock (Foreign Minister), S. Schulze (Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development), Dr. R. Habeck (Vice Chancellor, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection)

CLIMATE SAVER THREATENED - Protect Congo Rainforest and Largest Peatland From Oil exploration!

Dear people,

in order to stop the destruction of the Congo rainforest, and thus one of the world's most vital ecosystems and largest CO2 reservoirs, we wish to solicit for your signature and support. The Congo rainforest is located in the African Congo Basin, which is also home to the world’s largest peatland.

This peatland which serve as a huge carbon sink as well as other nature reserves in the region are now acutely threatened by plans for massive oil exploration (27 oil fields) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And this in the midst of the current climate catastrophe!

We therefore particularly call on the aforementioned policy makers - including also all parliamentary groups in the Bundestag, Dr. U. von der Leyen (President of the European Commission), Dr. R. Metsola (President of the European Parliament), F. Tshisekedi (President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo). J.-M. Sama Lukonde Kyenge (Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and D. Budimbu Ntubuanga (Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo):

1) to IMMEDIATELY use all available levers of diplomacy and international cooperation with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to stop this impending catastrophe for all of Humanity. Because: plans to massively extract oil in these geologically and ecologically highly sensitive peatlands would indeed be a disaster for humans, but also for biodiversity and the climate;

2) though it is true that the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo now intends to licence the oil drilling, however, the President had in 2021 already strechted out his hands of cooperation for the protection of the Congo rainforest as well as the largest peatland in the world. He (the President) is willing to stop the oil drilling licencing processes if the industrialised countries finally keep their promised climate protection payments and if they would increase these contributions. Policy makers should seize this opportunity to act;

3) at the same time, we however strongly implore the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure highest level of transparency and accountability in respect to use of the funds earmarked for the protection of the rainforest as well as to fight corruption;

4) these financial resources could be crucial to existential biodiverse protection of the ecosystems. These ecosystems stabilise the world's climate, while they can also help to fight extreme poverty in the region and strengthen the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We must prevent or rather end this impending ecocide in the Congo Basin and in the Niger Delta (Nigeria) as well as in other resource-rich regions, in order to steer towards a fossil-free future - in line with the motto of Africa’s climate justice movement #PétroleNonMerci. - thus putting the slogans #ClimateSocial and #PeopleNotProfit into action.

Warum ist das wichtig?

The Congo rainforest is one of the most important ecosystems and is also one of the world's largest CO2 reservoirs. Especially the world's largest peatland, the "Cuvette Central" (Central Congo Basin), is a gigantic carbon sink. Yet, in this area as well as in nature reserves, licences for oil fields are now being auctioned off.

According to Simon Lewis, a Professor of Global Change Science, the proposed oil exploration in the Congo Basin could lead to the emission of up to six billion tonnes of CO2. The climate impact could be about 60 times that of the Luezerath Coal Mine (Germany). We must not allow this to happen!

African trade and resource policy expert, Dr Boniface Mabanza Bambu, who hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, remarks:
"If there are new fossil fuel projects that should not be attempted at all, it is that in an area like the Congo Basin. It is irresponsible to sacrifice the [largest] lungs of the planet for the extraction of natural resources with no future. What matters here is not those who bear the direct responsibility for the Congo rainforest, but also those who are now profiting from the fossil era. They must pay compensation to keep oil in the ground in the Congo Basin."

First signatory persons and organisations:
1. Fridays for future Democratic Republic of Congo
2. PétroleNonMerci
3. RiseUp Africa
4. Greenpeace Africa
5. Irène Wabiwa (famous climate justice activist from drc)
6. Dr. Boniface Mabanza (DR Congolese expert on African commodity policy and trade)
7. Bündnis Ökozidgesetz (campaign for an ecocide law)
8. Debt for Climate
9. Ende Gelände
10. Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
11. Extinction Rebellion Germany
12. Greenpeace Saar
13. Sand im Getriebe
14. Initiative klimagerecht leben
15. Urgewald
16. Stop Ecocide Germany

Background and Support:

WhatsApp Channel:

1: carbon-emissions-imminent-oil-drilling-could-release-it-187101
2: ExplorationUpdated27_blocks.pdf
3: Annotation: The German Environment Agency projects the economic losses resulting from climate change to be 200 € per tonne of CO2 emitted today (source: : nachhaltigkeit/artikel/umweltamt-eine-tonne-co2-verursacht-umweltschaeden-von-180-euro 22997269) So, if you multiply the six billion tonnes of potential emissions by 200€/t CO2, you would arrive at this unimaginably high total damage to people and the world economy if this peatland is destroyed.
4: Survey of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) 2021: “Kein Grad weiter – Anpassung der Tagebauplanung im Rheinischen Braunkohlerevier zur Einhaltung der 1,5-Grad-Grenze
5: carbon-emissions/
6: threatens-to-destroy-congo-peatlands
7: Fanning, Andrew L. and Hickel, Jason: "Compensation for atmospheric appropriation." (Nature Sustainability, 2023), pp. 1-10.



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