African Climate Reality Project
Started 2 petitions
Call on the African Development Bank to light up Africa with 100% renewable energy
We call on the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to immediately put in place and publish on the AfDB website a fossil fuel finance exclusion policy that the bank will not fund, provide financial services or capacity support to any coal, gas, and oil project on the African continent; and to reflect this policy through a revision of the Bank’s High 5’s. We commend your efforts to remove coal from the Bank’s energy investments and accelerate the use of renewable energy for widespread energy access. We also recognise your COVID-19 response plan to build resilience for a Post-COVID-19 Africa by providing financial grants to several African countries. However, given the climate emergency and the short timeline to achieve net-zero emissions, the AfDB can and should do more by officially and definitively disengaging itself from any current or future fossil fuel projects. Burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the climate crisis we are in since it is the largest contributor to Greenhouse Gas emissions. A rapid and just energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, is urgently needed not only to combat climate change, but also to solve energy poverty by providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for the 580 million Africans who still don’t have access to electricity. This number was set to increase in 2020 for the first time since 2013 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting government priorities, supply-chain disruptions and social distancing measures, which have slowed down access programmes - and mobilising development finance institutions is critical to ensuring that progress towards universal energy access continues. This energy poverty would reduce if governments and financial institutions were to prioritise investments in renewable energy, and putting strict measures in place to ensure that no fossil fuels projects are funded. Africa, more than any other continent, is faced with an accelerating climate crisis. Poverty reduction, energy access goals, and climate goals are inextricably linked; they require urgent and bold action. The majority of Africans depend on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods, and live in low and middle-income countries that have contributed the least to climate change, yet they are the most vulnerable to its impacts. Their lives and livelihoods are directly threatened by the global climate crisis and related impacts such as extreme weather events, food shortages, water scarcity, and the spread of diseases. These effects are already hampering economic development, sometimes eroding years of economic progress, exacerbating conflict and pushing hundreds of thousands of people every year into exile, especially those living in arid zones and areas affected by desertification. As the leading financial institution on the continent, we believe that the Bank can and should do more to substantially expand their level of support by increasing Africa's resilience and ambition to leave fossil fuels in the past, and leapfrog to the age of 100% renewable energy and sustainable development. We call on the leadership of the AfDB to: Prioritise the development of a fossil fuel finance exclusion policy that states that the bank will not fund, provide financial services, or capacity support to any coal, gas, and oil project on the African continent; Following the development of a draft policy, immediately publish the draft on the AfDB website and allow a public comment period of a minimum of 30 days, and promote this process of public participation on the Bank’s social media channels and through media interventions in addition to the Bank’s civil society database to ensure widespread civil society and public engagement; Provide more participatory approaches to engage with civil society groups on an ongoing basis with your regional and country offices;Continue to support recovery and response plans for more vulnerable countries through grants, rather than loans, to avoid worsening the debt crisis; Actively involve civil society in the development of just green recovery and response plans to COVID-19; Increase and support Africa’s climate and sustainable development ambitions by investing in opportunities that enable youth to access skills development and green jobs in the renewable energy and sustainability sectors, and in programmes that protect and restore ecosystems affected by unsustainable practices such as mining and logging; Shift the AfDB’s investment portfolios to 100% renewable energy projects and sustainable, organic agriculture and climate resilient infrastructure; Publish a roadmap to reduce portfolio-wide emissions and align with the 1.5ºC Paris Agreement goal. The roadmap must also be allowed a public comment period of a minimum 30 days with public participation promoted through the Bank’s social media channels, media interventions, and the Bank’s civil society database; Our hope is that we can all work together to create a brighter, sustainable future for the African continent. ___ This petition is being led through Zero Emissions|Omissions, a campaign of the African Climate Reality Project. Please add your voice to this call for a just, sustainable, and climate resilient future for Africa!
Save the Congo basin peatlands from oil exploration and corruption
Born of lies and corruption, plans to drill for oil in one of the planet’s most critical carbon sinks could release a climate time-bomb of carbon dioxide. The Congo Basin, home to the world’s second largest tropical rainforest after the Amazon, is often referred to as the world’s second lungs or Africa’s lungs. At its heart is Cuvette Centrale (Central Basin), where the world’s largest tropical peatlands lay hidden until their discovery in 2014. The Cuvette Centrale peatlands store an estimated 30 billion tonnes of carbon, “equivalent to three years worth of fossil fuel emissions”. Rich in nature, Cuvette Centrale is more valuable if left untouched to thrive. It is a vast expanse of green forest and lush wetlands, home to rich and diverse biodiversity, and the indigenous and local populations that rely on the basin’s resources for their livelihood. Preserving these peatlands is essential to protecting both the social and ecological benefits, with the latter playing a critical role in international efforts to keep the global average temperature increase well below 2˚C in line with the Paris Agreement. Despite the urgent need to protect the Cuvette Centrale, it is the latest target for oil exploration with a backstory rife with dirty deals. An investigative report by Global Witness, Der Spiegel and Mediapart, in conjunction with the European Investigative Collaborations media network reveals concerning findings behind the outdated Environmental Impact Assessment, wildly exaggerated claims of vast oil reserves, and several serious corruption red flags. Congo’s Environment Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault has claimed that the oil block named Ngoki - ‘crocodile’ in the local Lingala language - “is not in the peatlands”. However, the environmental impact assessment for the drilling was based on studies carried out in 2013 - a year before scientists discovered the vast peatlands in 2014. As it turns out, the Ngoni oil block could contain over 6000 square kilometres of peatland, which if drained for oil drilling could release more carbon dioxide than Japan’s total annual emissions - 1.34 gigatonnes. In August 2019 Petroleum Exploration and Production Africa (PEPA), spearheaded by Congolese oil baron Claude Wilfrid “Willy” Etoka who has close ties to the country’s presidential family, announced that the deposits under Cuvette Centrale could contain hundreds of millions of barrels of oil - enough oil to quadruple the Congo’s oil production and drag the country out of corruption-linked debt. However, even oil giants Shell and Total rejected offers to invest in 2015. Evidence reveals that the size of the oil reserves was severely embellished, and that the project may not even be economically viable. Opening up this climate critical carbon sink to oil exploitation holds high risks of oil spills that threaten the Congo basin ecology, as well as further rampant deforestation to make way for access roads and oil pipelines. Draining the Congo’s peatlands for oil would also make it impossible to meet global Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. Furthermore, investors could end up being stuck with stranded assets as the world transitions to a just and low-carbon economy. The record drop in oil prices during the COVID-19 pandemic is one example, serving as a stark reality check for what happens when demand for fossil fuels fall. Based on the findings of the investigation by Global Witness, Der Spiegel and Mediapart, in conjunction with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) media network, and their recommendations, the African Climate Reality Project strongly urge that: 1. Oil majors, including but not limited to Shell, Total, and ENI, must publicly state a strict commitment to not invest in oil exploration anywhere in or around the Congo Basin, on environmental grounds; 2. Banks must increase and improve their transparency policies, and publicly report on all potential risks for financing or providing supporting services to industrial developments anywhere in or around the Congo Basin; 3. Banks must introduce and implement a strict and infinite moratorium on lending to all new fossil fuel projects, and declare that carbon sinks such as tropical rainforests and peatlands are sensitive areas, and rule out all investments that have the potential to lead to the destruction of these regions; 4. The Central African Forest Initiative Partner Countries (Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon), Donor Countries and Organisations (European Union, France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands, South Korea), as well as South-South Partners (Brazil), must demand the termination of any oil and mining projects anywhere in or around the Congo peatland well ahead of 2025 when the Congo peatlands will be granted a special legal protected status; 5. The African Union Member States, as well as the Member States of the United Nations, must adopt legislation that bind all companies and financiers to report on due diligence to identify, mitigate, and prevent human rights and environmental risks associated with their operations and investments, and be held accountable to these. --- This petition is being led by the African Climate Reality Project under Sink Our CO2, the campaign aimed at creating awareness around forest management, restoration, and protection as carbon sinks, and inspire people to plant and protect trees. Please add your voice to this call to protect the planet's carbon sinks!