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Activists in new film shed light on EACOP project impacts

350Africa.org in conjunction with the Stop EACOP coalition are releasing a new documentary, “EACOP: A crude reality”, that puts the spotlight on the negative socio-economic and environmental impacts posed by the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

StopEACOP protesters in Uganda

The film features the testimonies of communities directly affected by the Total Energies’ mega project as well as activists raising alarm on the threats posed by the pipeline to livelihoods, sensitive ecosystems and the climate. The pipeline, which will run from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania, has been the centre of controversy globally, following sustained opposition by community members and climate activists.

Climate activists under the Stop EACOP coalition appear to be unrelenting in calling on financial institutions to distance themselves from the proposed pipeline, resulting in 24 commercial banks and 18 (re)insurers committing to not supporting the project.

The release of the 43-minute documentary follows a global week of digital actions calling on the EACOP financial and insurance backers not to finance nor insure the project. Following the launch, groups across the continent will hold public screenings of the film at different locations.

Landry Ninteretse, Regional Director, 350.org, said: “At a time when there should be no new fossil fuel projects, forging ahead with a project of EACOP’s magnitude is a regrettable move that will not only become stranded assets in a few years’ time but also exacerbate Africa’s fossil fuel trap. This will in turn further fuel the climate crisis, whose impacts are already hitting Africa hard. Climate activists under the stop EACOP coalition have been calling for a stop of flow of finance to the project.

“As communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, we expect that the COP27 climate talks will yield substantial climate finance that will support the just transition to renewable energy in Africa as opposed to financing climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects. In addition, fossil fuel producing countries responsible for the enormous damage caused must also pay by supporting the nation’s most vulnerable to the climate crisis, to build resilience to its impacts.”

Omar Elmawi, #StopEACOP coordinator, said: “EACOP is an ill-advised project whose impact on communities in Uganda and Tanzania, wildlife and the planet will be devastating, as the project’s lead Total Energies’ stand to gain. We must continue to push for a stop to this and other such projects. To bring an end to the age of fossil fuels, we must cut off the flow of financing to the fossil fuel industry and engage governments and financial institutions to marshal massive investments in renewable energy needed to realize a just transition away from fossil fuels and avert even worse impacts of the climate crisis.”

Hilda Nakabuye, Climate activist from Uganda, said: “The heart-wrenching stories of displacement, human rights abuses, threats to livelihoods and sensitive ecosystems linked to EACOP are a testament to the impunity with which fossil fuel corporations such as Total Energies operate, as they realise huge profits at the expense of people and the environment. Harmful projects such as EACOP should have no place in the future of the continent.

“Instead, the government of Uganda and Tanzania supported by the developed nations should create sustainable, inclusive and diversified economic opportunities and energy solutions that directly benefit Ugandans and Tanzanians and protect their basic rights, livelihoods, environment and future.

The full film will premiere at this link on October 30, 2022.

About the East African 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 #StopEACOP Coalition has been calling for a stop to the proposed pipeline and associated oil fields at Tilenga and Kingfisher. The European Parliament recently adopted a groundbreaking resolution that recognises the consequences for both human rights and the climate due to the construction of Total’s East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. 

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