Campaigners against a planned fossil fuel pipeline brought the voices of Africa to Manchester today as part of a protest outside the country’s largest insurance industry convention. The activists were calling on companies attending the BIBA 2023 Convention at Manchester Central to commit to not insuring the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

EACOP is planned to take oil from Uganda’s Lake Albert oilfield to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. Campaigner from Stop EACOP oppose the project because of the pipeline’s contribution to climate change, and the impact on local communities in Africa. They also question the financial viability of the scheme as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

As well as banner and placards, the protesters outside the conference centre brough recorded messages from people in East Africa affected by the pipeline.

Opposition to the pipeline has already resulted in 22 insurance companies and 25 major banks ruling out insuring or financing EACOP and it is hoped that more will make the same pledge after today. The project is already several years behind schedule.

Stop EACOP campaigner Clara Paillard said “People in the UK have a responsibility to amplify the voices of climate justice activists in Uganda and Tanzania who are already on the frontline of the effects of climate change. We protested at the BIBA insurance conference to ask insurers NOT to support the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. They are the enablers of Carbon Bombs like EACOP and have the power to stop it”

Manchester activist Maria Ali said “Here in Manchester we’ve recently been learning more about the debt we owe to Africa from the days when we used cotton grown by African slaves to become the first city of the Industrial Revolution. We do not want a second debt caused by the consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels when the solutions are already out there. A Green Industrial revolution can create jobs in Manchester and Africa, and is a far, far better investment for the twenty-first century than a crude oil pipeline”

Support for the protest came from campaigners in East Africa. A spokesperson for Students Against Eacop Uganda said “Total oil giant together with its enablers, banks & insurance companies, are displacing thousands of people to build a pipeline that will double the emissions of Uganda and Tanzania. People’s livelihoods, their water supplies, their land, wildlife and their habitats are put at risk for pure profit.”

The groups that participated in todays were Stop EACOP Manchester, Manchester Climate Justice Coalition, Manchester Friends of the Earth, RAPAR, Manchester XR, Manchester Just Stop Oil, Manchester Global Justice Youth, and volunteers from Manchester Greenpeace.


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