New York-based climate security campaigner, 350.org, on Thursday implored financiers to hold back support for the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a 1,443km-project spanning Tanzania and Uganda and led by TotalEnergies.
The group, in an email to PREMIUM TIMES, accused the oil company of profiteering from the African continent, exploiting its labour force and neglecting host communities.
“Scores of project-affected persons and frontline activists have been made to endure violence, intimidation, forced removals, unfair compensatory processes, the desecration of cultural sites, and the loss of land and other income generating streams,” the activist group said, quoting Zaki Mamdoo Coordinator of the movement, ‘Stop EACOP’.
350.org centred its grouse on the claim that TotalEnergies, fresh from declaring a 70 per cent jump in profit to $5.6 billion for the first quarter compared to Q4 2022, is set to plough record profits into carbon-high energy projects, aggravating global warming.
Oil pumped through EACOP pipeline is projected to emit about 34.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air every year, says Just Share, a South African shareholder union.
That equals almost seven times the size of carbon emissions by Uganda and Tanzania put together.
TotalEnergies has not responded to a PREMIUM TIMES’ email seeking clarification as of the time of filing this report.
“Research from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has shown that the pipeline would also endanger population centres, wetland sites, rivers and lakes,” Africa Report said in a publication dated 9 February, 2022.
READ ALSO: TotalEnergies’ full-year profit leaps by 711% amid global oil rebound
Myriads of lenders including South African and French big banks, even underwriting powerhouse Axa, have kept off the heated oil pipeline project, the largest of its kind in the world.
Last February, Africa’s biggest lender Standard Bank put the funding decision on hold to undertake a full diligence report after local rivals Nedbank, ABSA and Investec backed off.
“We are facing unprecedented heatwaves, fires, and flooding worldwide, while millions of households struggle with the cost of living crisis,” said Clémence Dubois, Global Campaigner at 350.org.
“The company’s upcoming AGM is a chance for them to celebrate their profits, but they should be prepared to face resistance from movements in France committed to blocking it as long as they continue their destructive path.”
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