Africa and the Video Climate Summit

Published on 26 April 2021 at 08:20
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Very well framed piece by the CSIS authors. If I may comment, at least relative to the DRC which holds a special spot in my heart having grown-up in Kin' for six years. DRC's president Félix Tshisekedi will play (and expects) to play a visible role as the African Union chair in 2021. There is a clear quid-pro-quo that is visible at least on one level. Financial support from the US and its global climate partners to the DRC to undertake climate change mitigation and adaptation.

This would include the usual suspects: grants, technology transfers, and capacity-building packages. I think these are reasonable incentives if we expect the DRC and the major African countries to step up to the plate. The U.S. climate team is looking for conservation of "peatlands estimated to contain 30 billion tons of carbon," and "if one-third of it were to burn, it would double atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and raise global temperatures by 5 degrees Celsius." There's your sword of Damocles. So it's a gamble at this stage. Will the US turn on the financial spigot now in return for a "commitment" to protect among others, the Congo Basin rainforest and its extensive peatlands. A powerful quid pro quo. at lease as framed.

Let us not forget the African continental chessboard upon which we are playing. China, continues to be our greatest adversary, our strategic threat, not only on the African continent but globally as well.  I will remind you that in DRC, there are strategic mineral reserves found found in Katanga which include copper, cobalt, zinc, manganese, coal, silver, cadmium, germanium (a brittle element used as a semiconductor), gold, palladium (a metallic element used as a catalyst and in alloys), platinum and something called uranium. This is reminiscent of the power struggle between the US and Russia on this exact continent and for the control of those strategic minerals. Three guess where critical minerals for developing the first Atom Bomb came from? The game is still being played. 


#climatchange #africa #environmentalpolicy

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