Activists from 7 countries are singling out Marsh McLennan for its role in the development of the East African oil pipeline. They allege that the insurance brokerage violates OECD CSR guidelines.
Members of the #StopEACOP coalition held a coordinated day of action yesterday to request insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. to withdraw its support for the East African Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The actions took place in London, Paris, New York, Brussels, Madrid, Tokyo and Kampala, in front of the company’s offices and online. The aim of the activists was to request Marsh McLennan to publicly justify its support for EACOP and, ultimately, to withdraw from the project.
For months now, NGOs, associations and climate justice campaigners have focused their attention on Marsh McLennan, as it plays a key role as the project’s insurance broker. In February 2023, human rights and environmental groups based in Uganda, Tanzania and the United States filed a formal complaint alleging that Marsh was violating the OECD’s corporate social responsibility guidelines by acting as an insurance broker for EACOP.
TotalEnergies is currently struggling to convince investors to support its Uganda-Tanzania pipeline project. Indeed, the #StopEACOP movement has taken a major step forward with the announcement of a further postponement of EACOP funding. While in October 2022 the incumbents of the giant pipeline project led by TotalEnergies and China’s CNOOC in East Africa had hoped to secure funding by the first quarter of 2023, a new deadline “by the end of the year” has been announced, but Marsh McLennan is still on the project. And so, activists around the world continue to increase pressure against the broker.
Standard Chartered Plc has also announced that it will not fund the EACOP project. The decision, which follows growing pressure from the #StopEACOP campaign, is particularly significant, as the bank had previously confirmed that it was carrying out the necessary due diligence to fund the project to the tune of $5 billion. In response to public pressure, the London-based bank clarified that it would not participate in the project.
What is EACOP?
EACOP is a 1,443-kilometre pipeline planned between Uganda and Tanzania that, if built, would be the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline. The oil transported through the pipeline would generate 34 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year at its peak. The main operators of the multi-billion dollar project, are French oil company TotalEnergies and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), along with the governments of Uganda and Tanzania. TotalEnergies is currently struggling to convince investors to support its Uganda-Tanzania pipeline project. In fact, the #StopEACOP movement has taken a major step forward with the announcement of a further postponement of EACOP funding. For months now, NGOs, associations and climate justice campaigners have been regularly targeting Marsh McLennan because of its support for the EACOP project. Marsh plays a key role as the project’s insurance broker.
Extinction Rebellion is a non-partisan, decentralised climate emergency movement with a presence in 72 different countries and a total of 1140 local groups.
It was born with three demands – that the truth be told about the urgency of the Climate Crisis, that emissions be drastically reduced and that Citizens’ Assemblies be set up to unblock decision-making – and one method: civil disobedience. In addition, the state group of XR Spain has incorporated a demand that should inspire the other three: Climate Justice, understanding that governments must prioritise the needs of groups in situations of vulnerability and oppression.