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3 May 2023

Global Trade Review

Standard Chartered declines to finance East African oil pipeline after considering human rights concerns

"East African oil pipeline faces another blow as Standard Chartered refuses financing"

Standard Chartered has become the latest financial institution in a string of banks and insurers to refuse support for the East African crude oil pipeline (EACOP). Non-profit BankTrack says the decision is “particularly significant as the bank had previously confirmed that it was undertaking due diligence” to finance the project. “We can confirm that Standard Chartered is not involved in the financing of the East Africa crude oil pipeline project,” a spokesperson for the bank says in a statement provided to GTR...

A spokesperson for Standard Bank says that it is among potential lenders, it is internally reviewing a recent update of an independent environmental and social (E&S) due diligence report, and its “final assessment and subsequent decision will follow the project timeframes”. “Standard Bank’s participation in the funding of the EACOP project remains subject to its credit approval process which includes consideration of the findings of the E&S due diligence assessments and meeting the Equator Principles requirements [the banking sector’s framework for assessing environmental and social risk when financing large projects]. It is also subject to a full assessment of the EACOP sponsors’ climate change strategies and targets,” the spokesperson says. “Standard Bank is committed to maximising opportunities for sustainable and inclusive growth across the continent, and managing the risks posed by climate change,” they add...

A statement on EACOP’s website says the organisation will “continue to engage with the project-affected communities to ensure that their feedback is considered throughout the planning and implementation of the project”, and has provided housing and compensation to some of the people displaced.