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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) A Climate Change Hot Spot

The 2021 Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative Index ranked the DRC as the fourth least ready country to address climate shocks and the seventeenth most vulnerable country to climate change in the world. The majority of DRC's agriculture is rain-fed, which is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. But who is to blame?

Projected climate changes in the DRC include: a temperature increase of 1–2.5°C by 2050, an increase in the frequency of intense rainfall events and prolonged dry spells, and possible decreases in rainfall during the dry seasons (June-August, and September-November) in the southern region of the country by 2050! The Republic of Congo is susceptible to myriad natural disasters, including cyclical drought, epidemics, floods, and food insecurity that is mainly caused by outside forces. Before "Western and Chinese so-called "humanitarian efforts" and "economic investment" agriculture accounted for 40 percent of the DRC's national gross domestic product (GDP) and was the primary source of livelihood for most Congolese, employing 70 percent of the country's population.

Artisanal and small-scale mining where 97% of the profits are removed from the DRC are estimated to employ an estimated 200,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo paying them on average under one dollar and fifty cents US currency($1.50 USD) a day!, approximately two million more are indirectly involved through trade and transport.

"The mining industry has ravaged the landscape of the DRC. Millions of trees have been cut down, the air around mines is hazy with dust and grit, and the water has been contaminated with toxic effluents from the mining processing...cobalt is toxic to touch and breathe there are hundreds of thousands of Congolese people touching and breathing it in day in and day out. Young mothers with babies strapped to their backs, all breathing in this toxic cobalt dust." Siddarth Kara (Author)

DRC is endowed with exceptional natural resources, including minerals such as cobalt and copper, hydropower potential, significant arable land, immense biodiversity, and the world's second-largest rainforest which is currently threatened. Since 1990, the world lost 2 million square miles of forest due to deforestation for land uses and commercial agriculture. The area of primary forest worldwide has since decreased by over 90 million hectares. A number of companies remain to be the drivers for deforestation and they should be named and shamed and held accountable for their actions, which threaten the lifespan of every inhabitant of the planet: human, animal, and plant. There are many, but here are FIVE major companies that are responsible for the most deforestation. Eventually the world will wake up and when it does the people responsible and the nations backing them should pay reparations to the world even if it takes ALL their money!

  1. CARGILL: US-based company has a long history of destruction as probably the biggest companies that contributes to deforestation, according to a report by the NGO Mighty Earth. The report details how Cargill profits from the destruction of the environment and the exploitation of people while it pretends to be in support of sustainable farming. In Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia, Cargill is involved in the destruction of the Amazon, Grand Chaco, and Cerrado ecosystems for the production of soy and beef. In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Cargill buys coca that has been illegally grown in protected areas and national parks. In the DRC where it exploits land on a wildlife reserve after it was caught in Ghana In Indonesia and Malaysia, “Increasingly, the expansion of cocoa is threatening the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said Papy SHAMAVU, Technical Director of WCS in DRC. Cargill buys palm oil from companies that illegally clear rainforests. The report also claims that Cargill uses inaccurate accounting methods to underestimate how harmful its practices are. Its corporate customers include McDonald’s, Burger King, Walmart, Walmart, Unilever,

  2. BLACK ROCK: Another company that has no problem telling lies to the public for profit while it destroys the global ecosystem is BLACK ROCK maybe it is called that because it wants the world to look like a black rock floating in space once they are done? In January 2020, investment firm BlackRock announced it would exit investments with high environmental risks, including thermal coal. They also said that they would launch new investment products that screen for fossil fuels. However, BlackRock has been accused of being “climate hypocrites” since, in September, a big data computer discovered that the firm’s ESG funds hold companies with a deforestation risk that stretches over 500 hectares of land, more than any other fund. So people who paid to invest in funds that were environmentally protecting the earth were actually doing more harm to the planet than if they had just bought regular stock! Companies like Black Rock are like greedy fat little children who only want to eat candy and sweets until they are sick. They are the Augustus Gloops' of the planet making the world constipated and gobbling up the rainforests until none of us will be able to breathe. How will their money help them then?

  3. WILMAR INTERNATIONAL LIMITED: The world’s largest refiner and trader of palm oil, Wilmar International received a total score of 25% on Forest 500, which assesses the biggest companies in the world in terms of their anti-deforestation commitments. The company is one of the world’s largest oil palm plantation owners and processors, reportedly controlling around 45% of worldwide palm oil trade sourced from more than 80% of global palm oil growers. Wilmar also has a global soybean crushing capacity of 36 million metric tons per year, the majority of which is in China. It has no commitments to protect priority forests and no commitments to report on its supply chain. They also do not monitor or verify supplier compliance. Furthermore, in April 2020, the company left a committee that helps to identify forest areas for protection. They simply don't care about anything but profit, and since they don't care about the planet why should we care about them? To make it worse WIlmar doesn't mind if its suppliers abuse children as long as they bring in the money! Amnesty International found serious human rights abuses on the plantations of Wilmar AND its suppliers. These included forced labor and child labor, gender discrimination, as well as exploitative and dangerous working practices that put the health of children and other workers at risk. Wilmar's revenue for the twelve months ending June 30, 2023 was $32.196B,by the end of 2023 Wilmar saw more than a 26.5% decline! Wilmar's annual revenue for 2022 was $73.399B,harming the planet doesn't always pay!

  4. WALMART: Also known by investors as "Big Trouble" or "Little China" an inside joke as 95% of the products sold in Walmart come from China! Walmart puts very little revenue into the USA and they don't even pay into local electric bills as all their stores are solar (perhaps the only thing about the store that is good for the environment) Walmart has a history of setting zero-deforestation goals, it doesn't even have a system in place to track and monitor the origin of forest-risk commodities – palm oil, pulp and paper, soy, and beef; it says that implementing such a system is “not a... business priority.” It is unlikely that it will ever meet the goals defined for these key commodities, but it also “does not care to know” what percentage of the soy and beef used in the products it sells is produced with zero net deforestation. In 2019, Walmart was publicly linked to the fires in the Amazon as it conducted business with the Brazilian beef company JBS. Walmart is also a major buyer of Cargill’s products,

  5. AHOLD DELHAIZE: The supermarket chain Ahold Delhaize, which forms an umbrella over companies like Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, and other brands, has said they aim to achieve zero deforestation and conversion by 2025. However in 2018, they launched a $100 million joint venture with Cargill to operate a new meat packaging plant supplying Ahold Delhaize’s stores in the US, as well as continue to source meat from another leading deforestation company, JBS. The fact that the zero deforestation goal currently only applies to the company itself and not to the entire corporate group is also telling of its commitment to deforestation. The bright light in this companies future is that it is one of the few companies actually trying to do better they see the writing on the wall as much of its customer base is buying healthy products online from markets like whole foods because younger people get that food quality, and an ethical approach to sustainability and green non GMO markets is better for everyone including the health of the planet. Thus Ahold Delhaize are positioning themselves as a healthy and quality brand, which is resonating with younger audiences. They scored an 83 on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, up 20% from last year. The industry average is 31. Regulations regarding ecology and sustainability will no doubt become stricter over the coming years as the old politicians, wannabe robber barons, short-sighted capitalists and old perspectives die with them. Ahold Delhaize is years ahead of several competitors that will disappear as people embrace the higher quality of life a green paradigm offers!


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