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Total Energies Project Blocked in Uganda and Tanzania

…As awareness on the drivers of climate change continue to grow

By Own Correspondent

About 80 believers from different traditions blocked the Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge (VII e arr, Paris) to demand the immediate abandonment of TotalEnergies deadly oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

In the name of their beliefs and faith, two rabbis, two pastors, a Buddhist master and nun, a Jesuit priest, a bishop emeritus, and a Muslim thinker chained themselves together from one guardrail of the Parisian walkway to the other.

With this blockage, these nine leading religious figures wanted to denounce the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project and the new Tilenga oil field – both of which are mainly owned by the
French multinational TotalEnergies.

This action took place on the eve of the TotalEnergies Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Friday, May 26 in Paris. Arriving at about 11:30am on the bridge, the believers blocked pedestrian and bicycle traffic for 1,443 seconds (24 minutes), to symbolise the 1,443km of the future pipeline.

Nearly seventy believers were also present to be at the side of the nine religious figures. Some carried a banner depicting a black pipeline for justice and the good of all living beings.

If completed, EACOP will be the world’s longest heated pipeline, running 1,443 km from Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. Tilenga will be an oil field with 426 wells, 132 of which will be in the Murchison Falls Natural Park in Uganda.

Participants in the May 25 action consider these projects immoral and contrary to their values: TotalEnergies is attacking climate justice, human rights and biodiversity.

CLIMATE JUSTICE – By causing the emission of 379 million tons of CO 2 equivalent, EACOP and Tilenga will exacerbate climate disruption – to which countries like Uganda and Tanzania are among the most vulnerable.
HUMAN RIGHTS – These projects are expropriating over 100,000 people in Uganda and Tanzania. Their compensation has been late, insufficient and inadequate. Local opposition is being suppressed.
BIODIVERSITY – The EACOP pipeline must cross many rich and fragile ecosystems. Tilenga’s operation in the Murchison Falls Nature Park endangers endangered species and is already causing permanent alteration of the park.

With these projects, TotalEnergies is directly contradicting the scientific data of the IPCC and the studies of the International Energy Agency (IEA), according to which zero fossil fuel projects should be developed after 2021.

On May 7, 2023, a collective of 188 scientists and experts, called in Le Monde and TotalEnergies shareholders to vote against the firm’s climate strategy, denouncing the carbon bomb that EACOP represents.
At TotalEnergies; Annual General Meeting, shareholders will be asked to vote on the company’s climate change strategy, which still does not call for a halt to the development of new fossil fuel projects.

This event is organized by the interfaith NGO GreenFaith in partnership with Extinction Rebellion Spiritualities (XR Spi), the interfaith arm of Extinction Rebellion.