The European parliament on Thursday, 15, September, 2022, made resolutions that would guide to cab the disastrous results of human right violation and climate change due to the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The EACOP construction is championed by French oil brand TotalEnergies as the main investor, together with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the Uganda National Oil Company, and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.
The EACOP pipeline project is to stretch from Lake Albert in western Uganda to Tanzania at Tanga where the crude will be delivered for refining. Total has started two major oil exploration projects in Uganda, one of which is the Tilenga project, which will involve drilling for oil within the Murchison Falls natural protected area.
When the projected is completed, the Pipeline would generate over 34 million tons of CO2 emission every year, and threaten protected wildlife.
The EU Parliament resolutions call for the end to the extractive activities in the protected and sensitive ecosystems. These include the shores of Lake Albert to the 132 wells that Total plans to construct into the Murchison Falls National Park and to the numerous protected systems which the 500C heated EACOP pipeline will cross.
The parliament also urges TotalEnergies to take one year before launching the project to explore alternative projects based on renewable energies for better economic development.
The EU resolution insert more pressure on the financiers and corporations behind EACOP that are already facing sustained resistance from local communities and millions of people around the world.
The resolution comes against the background of recent protests by communities in parts of Uganda, which are citing failure by Total to mitigate against the impacts they have felt from the Tilenga project.
About 20 banks around the world have made clear they will not finance the EACOP, European financiers including Standard Chartered, BBVA, Santander, and Natixis have not yet distanced themselves from the project.
Clémence Dubois, France Team Lead at 350.org, says: “This is an important step forward in the fight against EACOP. The pressure is growing daily against Total and this project at all levels of society and throughout the world. We won’t stop until the project is stopped. No banks or financers who currently fund Total can ignore their responsibility, and they should be prepared to meet increasing pressure too, until they stop financing climate bombs like this around the world.”
Omar Elmawi, Coordinator at Stop EACOP campaign, says: “By denouncing the persecution and intimidation of human rights defenders who dare to criticize the project – several of whom have been arbitrarily arrested in the past – the resolution by the European parliament is sending a clear message that the rights of the people in Uganda and Tanzania should come before the interests of corporations and governments out to enrich themselves.
“The resolution however urges Total to study the feasibility of an alternative road but if we want to safeguard the environment and water resources, there’s only one road – ending this project that violates human rights and our environment. Communities and climate activists have already expressed their concerns and continued resistance to EACOP. The responsibility lies with the financiers to take a stand against this project.”