(Commentary) How does drilling for oil in Uganda’s national park live up to China’s COP15 biodiversity pledge?
“How does drilling for oil in Uganda’s national park live up to China’s COP15 biodiversity pledge?”
[...]The planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and associated Kingfisher and Tilenga oilfields – projects that involve three major Chinese state-owned oil companies – are threatening to derail us from a sustainable development path.
[...] Under its Kingfisher project, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is putting its central processing facility and well pads directly within the sensitive Buhuka Flats area on the shores of Lake Albert.
The EACOP itself, the planned 1,443km pipeline to be constructed by CNOOC, TotalEnergies, and the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments, poses a high risk of pollution to Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa and a critical source of water, hydropower and food for more than 40 million people.
In addition to CNOOC, two other Chinese state-owned oil companies, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the China Petrochemical and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), are working as contractors, and it is reported that the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is acting as one of the financial advisers for the projects.
The oil companies speak a lot about the jobs that will be created, but these opportunities jeopardise the existing livelihoods of a much bigger population.
The projects pose significant risk to important sectors, such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries and others, that are the biggest employers of Ugandans.
The fisheries sector alone employs over 5 million people, with Lake Albert and Lake Victoria serving as primary sources.[...]In comparison, the EACOP environmental and social impact assessment says it will create about 2,000 direct jobs – only about 200 of which will be open to non-professionals like fisherfolk and farmers.
After successfully presiding over a historic COP15, China's leaders need to walk the talk on green development.