FM Receives Congo’s Environment Minister; Carrier of Message to HM the King

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita on Tuesday received Congo’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Technical coordinator of the Congo Basin Climate Commission Arlette Soudan-Nonault, carrying a message from Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to HM King Mohammed VI. Soudan-Nonault, in a statement to the press after her meeting with Bourita, commanded HM the King’s commitment to biodiversity, adding that the Sovereign was behind the proposal to create three African Climate Change Commissions during COP22, namely the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region, the Congo Basin Climate Commission and the Islands States Climate Commission. In 2018, His Majesty also participated in the 1st Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Climate Commission and the Congo Basin Blue Fund, she continued, further emphasizing the need to pursue this “climate diplomacy” and strengthen the green and blue economies in order to achieve the urgently needed energy transition due the current climate emergency. The Congo Basin Climate Commission technical coordinator stressed the importance of these three commissions which share the same purpose, noting that the Congo Basin, “the planet’s second lung after the Amazon,” is the “first environmental space in terms of carbon dioxide sequestration.” The Congo Basin, alone, stores “at least 30 to 31 billion tonnes of this gas [i.e. CO2].” This is “the equivalent to three years of greenhouse gas emissions on the entire planet.” In this perspective, Soudan-Nonault argued that the objective of maintaining the temperature of the planet at 5°C cannot be achieved without taking into account the problem of the Congo Basin.