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Article

22 Apr 2022

Author:
Dorothée Moisan for Floodlight, in The Guardian

Uganda: EACOP casting a shadow on TotalEnergies' green image campaign; includes company's comments

"Uganda oil project casts shadow over Total’s eco-friendly image"

The French oil and gas company TotalEnergies has worked to cultivate a green reputation with climate goals and plans to ramp up renewable power, but a massive east African oil project is casting a shadow over that messaging campaign. Total plans to drill for oil in a richly biodiverse national park in Uganda and build a 900-mile pipeline, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which will flow through sensitive environments to a port in Tanzania for export. Burning that oil could release the equivalent of 34m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, according to opponents of the project, who point out scientists have said the world needs to drastically decrease, not increase, emissions...

The project has also turned off investors. More than half of the banks that have historically financed Total have ruled out backing the project, a symbol of the difficulty oil and gas companies face as they try to thread the needle of appearing concerned about the climate crisis while continuing to extract fossil fuels. At least five insurers have also ruled out support...

Total did not directly address the likelihood of spills or the concerns about waste disposal, but pointed to independent assessments that it says ensure the project is “implemented in accordance with best social and environmental practices”. Total argues it is taking steps to produce a “net positive impact” on biodiversity, including by “reducing human pressure” on the park by offering drilling as an alternative economic activity to tourism.

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