The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline this week, dealing another blow to the controversial project, which numerous banks and insurers have declined to back.
The pipeline, spearheaded by French oil giant Total, would carry oil harvested from beneath Lake Albert and Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda 900 miles to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The new resolution calls for “Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders, to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert.” The resolution also “urges TotalEnergies to take one year before launching the project to study the feasibility of an alternative route.”
Environmentalists say the pipeline, which would pass near Lake Victoria, threatens to contaminate water supplies and harm wildlife, and they warn the project would displace more than 100,000 people. Oil pumped through pipeline would also yield 34 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions yearly, more than the total emissions of Uganda and Tanzania put together, critics say.
Twenty banks and 13 insurers — including Allianz Group, Swiss Re, HSBC, and BNP Paribas — have said they would not support the pipeline. But several others — including Santander, BBVA, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs — have yet to voice their opposition, advocates say.
“The pressure is growing daily against Total and this project at all levels of society and throughout the world,” Clémence Dubois, France team lead at 350.org, said in a statement praising the new resolution. “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.”
Thomas Tayebwa, deputy speaker of Uganda’s parliament, condemned the resolution, saying “it represents the highest level of neo-colonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania.”