COP15: the fight against desertification! The other day, as I was coming down from work, in a light rain outside the season, soaked like a homeless man, a journalist threw a question at me ex abrupto, without even the preliminaries of decency that living together demands: “a word about COP15, sir…?” “A prank,” I threw at him and went on my way. Behind me, I imagine him calling me, waving his hands. Didn’t he say a word? I gave it to him. Period. On the line.
Monday, May 9, 2022, opened in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast capital, at the Ivory Hotel, the fifteenth United Nations Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification, called COP15. There is a lot of press around this event, which crystallizes both national and international opinions. The eyes are on the funders who were much expected. Expectations were not disappointed.
The Ivory Coast hoped to raise a maximum of 1.5 billion euros. It is currently at 2.3 billion dollars. This is the poetic side of the decor. The postcard! Now let’s take a close look at the other side of this COP15 standing on the shores of the Ebrié lagoon!
It’s not that I want to play the brawler of service or the annoying buzzkill, but this COP will sink, like so many other projects, into the abyss of oblivion in the coming weeks. (Write that somewhere! In a golden letter). This is to be expected. It is customary in Africa to see such crucial projects on the scalpel abortion table. There is a voice in this COP that says one thing and thinks the opposite. This COP15 is a “farce” in the face of the force of nature that is becoming impatient. Let us look around us: the irregular rhythm of the seasons testifies to this. The heat wave burns our baldness. The city of Abidjan, where this meeting is taking place, is polluted in such a way that we even wonder why the sun burns so densely on our heads. Abidjan is in a climate storm like most African cities, let’s say. For this COP15 alone, thousands of people, coming by air – imagine the kerosene consumed – frill in energy-consuming cars and come after the fact, to make us aware of the degradation of the environment. My eye!
In truth, we may be led to believe that our African governments only see the money they can raise. The ozone layer does not wait. In any case, all this comes down to smoke and mirrors. But, wait and see! The other irony is when COP15 is held in a country that still imports a lot of glyphosate: a kick in the fight against climate change.