Campaigners hold protest at Rendez-Vous de Septembre 2023

Advocates against insurers’ support for oil exploration in Congo rainforest

Campaigners hold protest at Rendez-Vous de Septembre 2023


By Terry Gangcuangco

Image credit: Greenpeace

Activists from climate action organisation Greenpeace held a protest at the ongoing Rendez-Vous de Septembre (RVS) in Monte Carlo, urging the insurance industry not to support the development of oil concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“We’re in Monte Carlo, one of the richest places in the world, to ensure a group of super-rich and powerful insurance companies don’t add to the hardship of some of the world’s poorest communities in the DRC,” Irène Wabiwa, international project manager for the Congo Basin at Greenpeace Africa, said in an emailed release.

“While some companies have given us a commitment not to provide insurance for the disastrous oil auctions in the DRC, others remain silent and carry on business as usual: insuring fossil fuel companies without the consent of indigenous peoples and local communities, while the planet burns from a climate crisis is out of the question.”

Taking place until September 13, the RVS is described as the industry’s largest gathering and is a usual target by climate protesters. In 2018, advocates took the opportunity to get their message across, Monaco-style, using a sailing boat.

Meanwhile, Wabiwa added: “If major insurance companies stopped covering the risk of the fossil fuel industry, oil companies would be hard pressed to find support for their environmentally and people-destroying business plans. This is why we are asking insurance companies to stop supporting the fossil fuel industry.”

It was noted that 13 of the 30 oil and gas blocks offered for exploration in the DRC straddle protected areas and national parks. 

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