East Africa

Nakabuye, an activist, is challenging European authorities on their support for a crude oil pipeline proposal.

At the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue on Tuesday, Hilda Nakabuye, a Ugandan climate and environmental rights activist and founder of Uganda’s Fridays for Future organization, addressed senior European decision-makers over their support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The protester gave a forceful statement in front of other keynote speakers, including German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng, and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“I have come here today to remind you that the greed displayed by your politicians and global north corporations is a menace to the lives of people in Africa,” Nakabuye said in her speech. It poses a hazard to species and future generations.”

“Despite repeatedly promising to reduce fossil fuel use at home, European support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline is strong evidence that the area continues to encourage disastrous fossil fuel projects in the global south,” she added.

According to Nakabuye, Europe progressed through the use of fossil fuels, but this is not the path that young people wish to adopt.

“Uganda, like the rest of Africa, wants to progress, but not at the price of the environment or human lives,” she says.

“It is our global responsibility to ensure that we do not export our energy crisis to nations of the global South, and that the energy transition is equitable, even in the rest of the world,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock responded.

The EACOP is a proposed 1,443-kilometer crude oil pipeline that would be the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline if constructed. It would run from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga, Tanzania.

Oil spills, according to environmental activists, represent a significant threat to the livelihoods and welfare of tens of millions of Ugandans and Tanzanians, as well as generating over 34 million additional tons of carbon emissions per year, hastening the climate crisis.

Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist, has been traveling across Europe to raise awareness and support for their ongoing battle to stop the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline from being built.

They seek to terminate European backing for this project, which they describe “devastating,” with the help of European climate activists.

EACOP is currently backed and financed by European companies such as Total, financiers such as Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, and insurers such as Munich RE and Allianz.

In an interview, Nakabuye stated that they want the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline to be known throughout Europe and the world.

“We want financial institutions and other large organizations that support Total to stop doing so.” “We want this project, as well as any other new oil projects in Africa and around the world, to be halted,” she stated.

15 major banks and five large reinsurers have already said no to the pipeline.

 

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