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Letter to Standard Bank, SMBC, and ICBC

Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) of Japan are reportedly about to finance a 1,443-kilometer crude oil pipeline through Uganda and Tanzania. If built, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) would be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world and is expected to cause large-scale displacement of communities and pose grave risks to protected environments, water sources and wetlands in both Uganda and Tanzania.

The pipeline is a threat to the employment status and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people, and will likely lead to rights violations for communities along its route, including from resettlement. It will cross the Lake Victoria basin, where an oil spill could prove disastrous for the millions of people that rely on the lake’s watershed for drinking water and food production. And it threatens to open critical ecosystems including Murchison Falls National Park, a habitat for elephants, chimpanzees and much other wildlife, to oil extraction.

In addition, the emissions from burning the oil transported through the pipeline alone are estimated at 33 million tonnes of CO2 per year, at a time when the world’s scientists are telling us that new fossil fuel developments need to stop if we are to tackle the climate crisis.

Standard Bank, through its Ugandan subsidiary Stanbic, and SMBC are currently set to ignore these impacts and the opposition of local groups to proceed with raising a $2.5 billion loan for the project. But a strong outcry could stop them. The Ugandan government expects to sign a deal to proceed with the pipeline in the coming months, so we have to act quickly. Please sign the petition and call on the banks not to finance this project and instead focus its finance on green projects which will positively transform East Africa’s economies for future generations.

and 39 civil society organisations from Uganda, Tanzania, and the DRC who are not named due to security concerns. 






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