April 13, 2022

People’s AGM urges financial institutions not to fund EACOP, cites grave threat to communities and environment

Press release

April 13th 2022

Contact: Christine Mbithi christine.mbithi@350.org, +254 725906695

Africa– On Wednesday, affected community members and climate activists from Uganda and Tanzania held a People’s Annual General Meeting to highlight the dangers of the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and called on financial institutions to commit not to fund the pipeline. The pipeline has faced continued opposition from communities and climate activists, citing threats to the environment and livelihoods of communities in the area. During the AGM, community members shared experiences of displacement, human rights abuses, threats to livelihoods and sensitive ecosystems linked to the pipeline, with attendees drawn from across the globe.

Following pressure from the groups and affected communities calling for a stop to the flow of finance into the project, 15 commercial banks and 7 major (re)insurers have distanced themselves from the project so far.

Landry Ninteretse, 350Africa.org Regional Director, said,
“The impacts of building the East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) will be devastating for our communities, for wildlife and for the planet. Affected communities and activists across East Africa and beyond are strongly speaking up against that ill-advised project and calling for massive investments in alternative sources of energy that are not only safe for the people, their livelihoods and the climate, but can also create jobs and income for locals. While many private banks and re-insurers have already distanced themselves from this controversial project, indicating they will not be supporting it, together we can put pressure on other financial institutions that have not taken a stand against the pipeline, to do so. At a time when science indicates that we should be moving away from any new fossil fuel project, moving ahead with a project like EACOP is exacerbating Africa’s fossil fuel trap.”

Omar Elmawi, #StopEACOP coordinator said,
“As communities in Uganda and Tanzania continue to fight tirelessly against the planned EACOP pipeline and the trail of destruction it is already leaving in its wake, the interests of the fossil fuel industry continue to take precedence, at the expense of the local communities and the environment. Financial institutions should realize that funding this project is tantamount to fueling the climate crisis at a time when Africa is suffering from adverse impacts of the same. It is time that these voices of the affected were heard and action taken to heed the call to stop the flow of finance into EACOP and instead redirect finance towards clean energy.”

Diana Nabiruma of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance said,
“If EACOP goes ahead, it will be allowing those who are seeking to profit at the expense of humanity to do so, while destroying our environment. We must engage our governments and financial institutions to ensure that we not only protect our environment but also safeguard the rights and interests of the people through promoting green industries and jobs, not oil. ”


Notes for Editors
About the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP)
TotalEnergies and partners aim to construct a 1443-km crude oil pipeline and infrastructure to transport Uganda’s crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania. If constructed, this would be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world, producing an estimated 34 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The project has already displaced thousands and threatens the water resources, livelihoods of millions of people in the Lake Victoria basin, as well as wildlife.

#StopEACOP is a global campaign against the construction of the EACOP. The campaign is led by an alliance of local groups and communities, and African and global organizations. The #StopEACOP Coalition has been calling for a stop to the proposed pipeline and associated oil fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher. The #StopEACOP campaign is gathering momentum, building pressure on the remaining supporters and financiers of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Financial institutions that are yet to pull out from EACOP include: Standard Bank, AIG, ICBC, JPMorgan Chase, MUFG, Standard Chartered, Citi, Deutsche Bank and SMBC.

For more information about the StopEACOP campaign visit https://www.stopeacop.net/ 

For interviews and additional information contact:
Christine Mbithi
Email: christine.mbithi@350.org
Telephone: +254725906695

#StopEACOP Campaign Coordinator
Omar Elmawi
Email: info@stopeacop.net
Telephone: +254780343432