Image of COP President Alok Sharma

03.10.2022

COP26 President Alok Sharma to attend pre-COP negotiations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ahead of COP27

  • The pre-COP meeting in Kinshasa, hosted by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Egypt, is the final formal multilateral opportunity for ministers to shape climate negotiations ahead of COP27 in November
  • The COP President will represent the UK at the meeting to lay the foundations for a successful COP27 in Egypt that strengthens global climate commitments and builds on COP26
  • He will also highlight the importance of the Congo Basin rainforest as the Earth’s most efficient carbon sink, as he calls on countries to honour their COP 26 promises to halt and reverse forest loss, whilst supporting sustainable development

COP President Alok Sharma will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for pre-COP, which runs from 3-5 October. Pre-COP is the annual preparatory meeting ahead of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP).  Ahead of COP27 in Egypt, the COP President will continue to work alongside Ministers to build the foundations for successful negotiations at COP27 and progress on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and finance. 

This year’s pre-COP is being held in Kinshasa, the first time in six years that the event has been held in Africa. The DRC is home to the largest proportion of the Congo Basin forest, which is the world’s second largest tropical rainforest region and part of the solution to climate change.

At COP26 in Glasgow, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced a donor pledge from 12 donors of $1.5 billion for the Congo Basin forests over 2021-25. Whilst in Kinshasa, the COP President will give an update on the progress of the pledge, ahead of its formal reporting on the Pledge at COP27. 

This pledge will protect and maintain the Congo Basin forests, peatlands and other critical global carbon stores whilst meeting local sustainable economic development needs. 

The COP26 Presidency recently invited world leaders to come together at COP27 to establish the Forests & Climate Leaders Partnership. This new Partnership will accelerate implementation of the unprecedented commitment made at COP26 by more than 140 countries to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.  

Pre-COP will be the last time that ministers collectively gather ahead of COP27.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

With just over a month to go until COP27, discussions here in the DRC take on an ever greater urgency.

As the impacts of climate change become more extreme, the focus must remain on implementation and action – driving progress on what was collectively agreed in Glasgow. And we should be clear: the Glasgow Climate Pact and Paris Agreement must be the baseline of our ambition.

Our hosts the DRC are the primary stewards of the second largest forest in the world. Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing one third of the CO2 which fossil fuel burning releases every year.

COP26 laid the groundwork for more ambitious action, with more than 140 leaders committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. COP27 must be a moment for delivering on these commitments made to protect and restore forests.

Notes to editors

  • The UK committed £1.5bn over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350m for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200m for the LEAF Coalition.
  • The UK will also contribute £200m, alongside 11 other donors, as part of a new £1.1 billion ($1.5bn) fund to protect the Congo Basin. The area is home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world which is threatened by industrial logging, mining and agriculture.
  • Last year’s landmark forest pledge at COP26 to end deforestation was the biggest step forward in a generation to protect the world’s forests. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-100-leaders-make-landmark-pledge-to-end-deforestation-at-cop26)
  • The Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP) kept alive the goal of limiting global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C degrees, while also cementing progress on finance for climate action, adaptation and loss and damage. The GCP sets out a clear framework for progress ahead of COP27 including:
    • The UK committed £1.5bn over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350m for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200m for the LEAF Coalition.
    • Requesting that countries revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets as necessary to align with the Paris temperature goal by the end of this year.
    • Urging developed countries to scale-up climate finance, including delivery of the collective $100bn joint mobilisation goal as soon as possible and through to 2025, and to double finance for adaptation by 2025 on 2019 levels.
    • Underlining the central importance of adaptation, the dangers of loss and damage, and the need to scale-up action and support for both.