Climate activists marched in Goma on Friday in protest of the government’s plans to exploit 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Congolese government caused an uproar among environmentalists last year by putting 30 oil and gas blocks up for auction, including 13 blocks crisscrossing through protected areas and national parks.
The Congo Basin forest absorbs 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide — about 4% of global emissions — some of which would be released into the atmosphere if the areas are cleared for oil and gas drilling.
Protests are planned across the globe throughout the weekend.
A week before the planned protest, the United Nations warned that countries are way off track to curb warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, as agreed in Paris in 2015. The world has warmed at least 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since then.
Over the past few months, Earth broke its daily average heat record several times according to one metric, July was the hottest month ever on record, and the Northern Hemisphere summer was declared the hottest on record.
Dozens of extreme weather events — from Hurricane Idalia in the southeastern United States to torrential flooding in Delhi in India — are believed to have been made worse by human-caused climate change.