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Standard Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation:

Don’t finance the East African Crude Oil Pipeline

Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) of Japan are reportedly about to finance a 1,443-kilometer crude oil pipeline through Uganda and Tanzania. If built, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) would be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world and is expected to cause large-scale displacement of communities and pose grave risks to protected environments, water sources and wetlands in both Uganda and Tanzania.

The pipeline is a threat to the employment status and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people, and will likely lead to rights violations for communities along its route, including from resettlement. It will cross the Lake Victoria basin, where an oil spill could prove disastrous for the millions of people that rely on the lake’s watershed for drinking water and food production. And it threatens to open critical ecosystems including Murchison Falls National Park, a habitat for elephants, chimpanzees and much other wildlife, to oil extraction.

In addition, the emissions from burning the oil transported through the pipeline alone are estimated at 33 million tonnes of CO2 per year, at a time when the world’s scientists are telling us that new fossil fuel developments need to stop if we are to tackle the climate crisis.

Standard Bank, through its Ugandan subsidiary Stanbic, and SMBC are currently set to ignore these impacts and the opposition of local groups to proceed with raising a $2.5 billion loan for the project. But a strong outcry could stop them. The Ugandan government expects to sign a deal to proceed with the pipeline in the coming months, so we have to act quickly. Please sign the petition and call on the banks not to finance this project and instead focus its finance on green projects which will positively transform East Africa’s economies for future generations.

and 39 civil society organisations from Uganda, Tanzania, and the DRC who are not named due to security concerns. 



Dear Standard Bank, Stanbic and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation,

The East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline poses unacceptable risks to both the global climate and local people and nature. Oil exploration and development in the region has already been associated with human rights abuses and illegal resettlement, and the pipeline poses a high risk of further abuses. Relocation and loss of land from the pipeline threaten the employment and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. 

The pipeline will cross the Lake Victoria basin for a length of some 400 kilometres. This lake basin supports the direct livelihoods of more than 30 million people in the region, for whom an oil spill could prove disastrous. 

The climate impacts from burning the oil that the pipeline would transport will surpass the potential financial gains the host countries are expecting to generate, at a time when the world is heading for a climate crisis. There is no room in the world’s carbon budget for this kind of massive new oil infrastructure. Further, the project presents unacceptable risks to local people, natural ecosystems and wildlife and threatens to open up Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park to oil extraction.

Further, oil from the EACOP pipeline will not directly benefit local people but will be destined for export markets. Rather than bringing wealth, oil extraction in Africa has too often been associated with the ‘resource curse’ and extreme, intractable poverty - a fate which Uganda and Tanzania can still escape. We strongly urge Standard Bank, Stanbic and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to publicly commit not to finance this project. 

These banks are currently ignoring the impacts of the pipeline and the opposition of local groups to the project. But a strong public outcry could stop them. Act now:


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