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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Total survives censure in suit challenging EACOP oil project

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A case filed in France challenging the construction of East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) has been dismissed. 

Six Ugandan and French civil society organisations (CSOs) filed a case in 2019 seeking a court order to compel TotalEnergies to put in place adequate mitigation measures to protect people and the environment from the risks posed by its Tilenga and EACOP oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

The CSOs that filed the court case include: Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), National Association for Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Navigators for Development (NAVODA) and Civic Response on Environment and Development (CRED) from Uganda. Others include Friends of the Earth, France and Survie from France.

But the Paris civil court ruled that the CSOs’ legal action was inadmissible
because the current claims are “substantially different from the claims” made in the
initial formal notice sent to Total.

Tanzanian Energy Minister January Makamba this month rejected the environmental and rights concerns as “propaganda”, saying the country complied with environmental, safety and human rights standards.

The project is being jointly developed by TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), along with the state-owned Uganda National Oil Company.

The 1,443-kilometre (900-mile) pipeline will transport crude from vast oilfields being developed in Lake Albert in northwestern Uganda to a Tanzanian port on the Indian Ocean.

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