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Manchester protest at China Consulate – #StopEACOP Greater Manchester.

news release

Media Advisory

26th June 2024

Global Day of Action: the world looks to China to halt EACOP

Who? This morning, members of Greater Manchester Stop EACOP action group gathered outside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester in order to ask China not to support the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The group previously coordinated a protest at the BIBA insurance conference at the Convention Centre in May.

Cordelia Newsome, a member of the Greater Manchester Stop EACOP  action group, said 

We are here today to stand in solidarity with the subsistence farmers in Uganda and Tanzania who are being forced off their land in order to make way for this oil pipeline and are not being properly compensated, and for the  Ugandan and Tanzanian Stop EACOP activists who are being are being arrested, beaten and imprisoned for simply trying to present a petition or deliver a letter. EACOP will also contribute to the deepening Climate Crisis, decimate endangered species and strengthen Lake Victoria on which 40 million people relied on for water supply”

What? The action in Manchester was part of a coordinated global day of action outside the Chinese embassies and some of the Chinese financial institutions in 12 countries,  urging China to rule out financial support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline and the associated oil field projects (the EACOP projects). 

The campaign specifically targets the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE), the state-owned Chinese insurance company, the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank), one of China’s policy banks, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China’s largest commercial bank and one of the financial advisors for the EACOP project. 

The aim of the action in Manchester was to show solidarity with Stop EACOP activists around the world and in particular those in the project affected countries, Uganda and Tanzania. The Manchester group hand delivered a copy of a letter at the Manchester Chinese Consulate for the attention of Zheng Zeguang, the Chinese Ambassador in London, asking China “to stand with us on the right side of history and not finance the EACOP projects” and “to make sound decisions that are truly responsible for people affected by the projects and the sustainable development of the world.” 

Sadly no one from the consulate came to meet the group and receive the letter in person so the letter had to be posted through their letter box instead.

Why? The EACOP projects pose outstanding risks and impacts to local communities’ livelihoods, water resources, and key biodiversity areas of East Africa while providing little benefit to the average Ugandan and Tanzanian. 

The projects, which are estimated to lead to greenhouse gas emissions of 379 million tonnes CO2e, are also a climate bomb that will fuel the global climate crisis, further locking the planet in a fossil fuel future. As major financiers and insurers from North America, Europe, and Japan have publicly distanced themselves from the harmful EACOP projects, the project developers are now looking to China for financial support. 

Affected people and local civil society in Uganda and Tanzania have communicated their concerns to the major Chinese banks, insurers, and the Chinese government by sending letters, petitions and analyses, and more recently through peaceful actions at the Chinese embassies. The Chinese government and financial institutions have continuously refused to respond to the demands of the affected people. 

However, there are signs that the Chinese decision-makers are aware of the significant risks of financing the projects. It has been reported that the delayed decision of the Chinese lenders, who have taken a prolonged time to assess the risks, has put the project in a cash crisis that threatens to stall the construction. 

The campaign aims to amplify people’s voices and urge China to make the right decision. As a committed climate leader and

responsible development partner of the Global South, China should not enable these destructive projects, which are in majority owned by Total Energies, through insurance or financing. Instead, China should invest in renewable energy projects promoting sustainable African development.

More info on Stop EACOP: https://www.stopeacop.net/

Photos of Manchester action in this folder (by Friends of the Earth Manchester)

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