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Climate protesters demonstrate against East African pipeline project

Climate protesters outside the UK headquarters of TotalEnergies. 18/10/2023   -  
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United Kingdom

Climate protesters in London on Wednesday demonstrated outside the UK headquarters of French energy giant TotalEnergies against a controversial oil project in Uganda and Tanzania.

The planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will see Ugandan oilfields developed and crude piped to the Tanzanian port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean. 

The project has been strongly criticised by rights activists and environmental groups and has also faced criticism in the European Parliament. 

In September, four environmental groups took legal action against TotalEnergies on claims of "climaticide", saying that the company "must no longer continue to knowingly, freely and with impunity fuel climate change".

The groups - Darwin Climax Coalitions, Sea Shepherd France, Wild Legal and Stop EACOP-Stop Total - say that TotalEnergies is liable for charges including destruction, damage or deterioration of property belonging to others likely to create a danger to persons, and failing to deal with a disaster.

Human Rights Watch in July urged a halt to the project, saying the project has "devastated thousands of people’s livelihoods in Uganda and will exacerbate the global climate crisis".

In a damning report, HRW said EACOP "will displace more than 100,000 people, has caused food insecurity and household debt, caused children to leave school, and is likely to have devastating environmental effects".

TotalEnergies says that those displaced by the project have been fairly compensated, and measures have been taken to protect the environment. 

The project involves drilling around 400 oil wells in Murchison Falls Nature Park, a biodiversity reserve and Uganda's largest national park.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to proceed, saying the East African country's economy will benefit from the project.

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