Uganda-Tanzania Oil Pipeline Project a ‘Carbon Bomb’
According to new data, the multibillion euro East African crude oil pipeline project being funded by France’s TotalEnergies and China National Offshore Company will produce far more carbon emissions than claimed.
The EACOP pipeline, which is currently under construction, will transport oil hundreds of kilometres from Uganda to a port in Tanzania.
The Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) in the United States has warned that EACOP will emit 379 million tonnes of carbon over its 25-year lifespan, a “mid-sized carbon bomb” that exceeds France’s own national estimates for 2020.
This is far greater than the estimates provided by pipeline builders in their environmental impact report, which was approved by both Uganda and Tanzania, and which CAI said accounted for only 1.8 percent of the project’s emissions.
This is due, among other things, to the report’s failure to account for “downstream” emissions, such as those associated with transporting oil from the pipeline to global markets.
According to CAI carbon analyst Richard Heede, emissions estimates must include “far larger supply chain emissions (98.2 percent) from maritime transport of crude oil to European and Chinese refineries,” as well as emissions from refining the oil and “emissions from the fuels used as intended by consumers.”
The pipeline will transport oil from Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park on Lake Albert to Tanzania’s Port Tanga, which is 1,400 kilometres away. Tankers will transport the crude from Tanga to the Chinese ports of Shanghai and Rotterdam.
“It is time for TotalEnergies to abandon the monstrous East African Crude Oil Pipeline that promises to deliver oil we don’t need,” CAI wrote, adding that the project runs counter to what TotalEnergies says in public about reducing carbon emissions.
A plethora of environmental, human rights, and biodiversity organisations have banded together to urge Tanzania and Uganda to halt the EACOP, which they claim will devastate lives and pollute the environment.
The greatest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, offers water and a means of subsistence for 40 million people and their crops, according to the organisation STOP EACOP. The pipeline will pass across its basin. Additionally, there are frequent earthquakes in the area due to its active seismic zone.
The group said, “Just one spill or leak could have absolutely catastrophic effects on these vital freshwater sources and the millions of people that depend on them.”
Additionally, the group claims that TotalEnergies and its partners are not adhering to industry best practises by utilising the open cut trenching option with the lowest cost for nearly all of the water crossings.
Source: Energy Ghana