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11 Apr 2022

Vanessa Nakate, The New York Times

East Africa: Financial institutions urged to reject fossil fuel projects such as EACOP in favour of clean energy

"This 900-Mile Crude Oil Pipeline Is a Bad Deal for My Country — and the World"

This week, the panel of climate experts convened by the United Nations delivered a clear message: To stand a chance of curbing dangerous climate change, we can’t afford to build more fossil fuel infrastructure. We must also rapidly phase out the fossil fuels we’re using...

Despite local opposition [to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline], TotalEnergies and a partner, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, have pushed ahead. The project might have a difficult time securing additional financing, as many banks have already ruled out the project. The multinational insurance company Munich Re has also vowed not to insure it, at least in part because of the harm it would do to the climate. Burning the oil that the pipeline will transport could emit as much as 36 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to one estimate. That is roughly seven times the total annual emissions of Uganda...

There is a huge appetite for clean energy alternatives here. I have seen it through my work to install solar panels and clean stoves in rural schools. These efforts sometimes feel hopeless when money floods in from foreign banks and governments for fossil fuels. But Africa is where critical investments should go in our fight for a stable climate in the coming years. Financial institutions must reject the East African Crude Oil Pipeline and fossil fuel projects like it, in favor of clean energy. The science is clear. So is the case for investment.