In April 2021, members of the STOPEACOP Alliance, which include 11th Hour Project grantees, launched a campaign to call on financiers, companies, governments officials and a range of other actors to not move ahead with the construction of what would be the world’s longest heated pipeline, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The pipeline would displace 12,000 families, threaten wildlife and tip the world closer to catastrophic climate change, according to critics.
French multinational oil company Total and the multinational corporation China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are the main actors behind EACOP. Both Total and CNOOC hold the licenses to extract oil in Uganda, but can only begin drilling until EACOP is built – it’s the only way to export the oil out of landlocked Uganda, to be processed and sold around the world.
The Alliance has sent an open letter to 25 banks urging them not to finance the construction of the pipeline. In the letter they note:
Time and again, deep analysis coupled with genuine consultation with local communities have revealed profound gaps between the company’s account of its best practices and the reality of the situation—this case is no different. Many of the company’s claims directly contradict what is occurring on the ground, and others are refuted elsewhere in the company’s own documentation. Other concerns, such as the massive climate impacts, are completely ignored.
It is concerning that major agreements are being signed and the companies are being given the go-ahead to award contracts and start developing the Lake Albert oil project. The oil projects pose major environmental risks. Resources, some shared with countries such as the DRC, Tanzania and Kenya, including Lake Albert as well as Lake Victoria and rivers, are at risk of oil pollution.