Japan's Tokio Marine fails to deny involvement in EACOP at shareholders' meeting; Environmental NGOs call for suspension of underwriting insurance for new fossil fuel projects, including EACOP
"プレスリリース「東京海上・株主総会で東アフリカ原油パイプライン（EACOP）の関与を否定せず～メガバンク3行が同事業から距離をとる中で東京海上の評判リスクが上昇～」を発表" 26 June 2023
[ Japanese-to-English translation: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre ]
On 26 June, the annual general meeting of shareholders of Tokio Marine Holdings Limited ('Tokio Marine') was held. Japanese environmental NGO staff attended the meeting as shareholders and questioned the company's involvement in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Construction Project (EACOP), which has attracted international attention, to which Tokio Marine's management replied that they could not comment on individual cases. We, environmental NGOs, are calling on the company to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects, including the EACOP project.
EACOP is a project led by the French company TotalEnergies to build the world's longest heated crude oil pipeline, 1443 km long, linking Uganda and Tanzania, which will result in massive CO2 emissions from oil production, destruction of ecosystems in wetlands and wildlife reserves designated under the Ramsar Convention, risk of pollution of water resources that support the lives of approximately 40 million people and The project has been criticised around the world due to concerns about the massive CO2 emissions from oil production, the risk of pollution of water resources that support the livelihoods of some 40 million people, and human rights abuses against local residents.
On the 2nd of this month, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group announced that it was not involved in supporting the project, making it clear that all three major Japanese banks are distancing themselves from the project. According to the #STOPEACOP campaign (*1) calling for the cancellation of the project, 27 banks have stated that they will not be involved. With regard to insurance underwriting, 22 insurance companies, including Zurich, AXA, Allianz and Munich Re, have denied involvement in the project. On the other hand, despite its alleged involvement, Tokio Marine has yet to deny involvement as an underwriter (*2). Tokio Marine has previously denied involvement in the Carmichael coal mine project in Australia, and the reason that it cannot comment on the project because it is a separate case lacks consistency. While other major insurance companies around the world have denied involvement in this project, Tokio Marine is concerned that its failure to clearly deny involvement could lead to a loss of corporate value.