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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Campaigners to pressurise US insurance firm to withdraw from Ugandan oil pipeline project

Stop EACOP campaigners will on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, hold coordinated online and offline actions in London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Madrid, Tokyo and Kampala, targeting US insurance giant Marsh McLennan offices.

StopEACOP campaigners

Ahead of the firm’s General Assembly, the actions are aimed at putting pressure on the world’s largest insurance broker and calling for its withdrawal from TotalEnergies’ East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, for failing to comply with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on corporate social and environmental responsibility as stated in a complaint filed in February 2023.

The complaint was filed by Inclusive Development International (IDI) and 10 human rights and environmental organisations in Uganda and Tanzania.

TotalEnergies is seeking financing and insurance coverage for its controversial Uganda-Tanzania crude oil pipeline project. While in October 2022, the holders of the giant oil pipeline project led by TotalEnergies and the Chinese company CNOOC in East Africa were hoping to secure its financing in Q1 2023, a new deadline has since been announced: “by the end of the year”.

Thus far, 25 banks and 23 (re)insurers have ruled out support for the project, with the latest being Standard Chartered Plc which announced last week that it would not finance the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

The decision, which follows mounting pressure from the StopEACOP campaign, is particularly significant as the bank had previously confirmed that it was undertaking due diligence on financing the $5 billion project.

In response to public pressure, the London-based bank clarified to the StopEACOP campaign members who reached out for confirmation that it is not involved in the project’s financing.

The proposed EACOP project entails a 1,443-kilometre heated pipeline that will transport oil from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. An alliance of local groups, communities, African and global organisations leads the Stop EACOP campaign, which has called for a stop to the proposed pipeline and associated oil fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher.

Some financial institutions yet to commit to not funding EACOP include AIG, ICBC, MUFG and SMBC.

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