Thu. Sep 21st, 2023
    Africa Climate Week: Activists Call for Halt to East African Oil Pipeline

    Activists have raised concerns about the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which threatens to undermine Africa’s climate ambitions. The pipeline, spanning 1,443km, is set to be the longest heated oil pipeline in the world, connecting landlocked Uganda to the coast of Tanzania. The project is led by French oil company TotalEnergies, which owns a majority stake of 65%.

    Several African countries, including Namibia, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, are partnering with Western energy companies to develop oil and gas fields. These countries argue that these projects will aid in development and increase energy access. However, the $5 billion EACOP has faced numerous challenges, including delayed construction and uncertain financing. Twenty-four banks have distanced themselves from the project, leaving only two banks, Stanbic Uganda and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, still involved.

    During the Africa Climate Week held in Nairobi, activists expressed their opposition to the EACOP and called for an end to financing the project. Simon Kamara, Tanzania hub leader for the global activist group 10 Billion Strong, stated that the project has already displaced thousands of people from their lands, which communities rely on for their livelihoods. Kamara also highlighted that the majority of profits from the project will go to the Global North, with the Tanzanian government holding only a 15% stake.

    Hilda Nakabuye from Fridays for Future-Uganda noted that the International Energy Agency has emphasized the need to limit further fossil fuel expansion if global warming is to be kept below 1.5°C. Nakabuye urged the Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Congolese governments to reconsider the expansion of fossil fuels in the African Great Lakes region.

    The concerns raised by activists highlight the tensions between economic development and climate action in Africa. As discussions on climate solutions continue, it is crucial to address these conflicts and seek sustainable pathways for energy development that align with the continent’s climate goals.

    – EACOP: East African Crude Oil Pipeline
    – COP28: Conference of the Parties 28, referring to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th annual conference.
    – Global North: Refers to the wealthier, industrialized countries located primarily in the Northern Hemisphere.

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    – International Energy Agency (IEA): An autonomous agency that provides energy policy advice to its member countries.