A fifth reinsurer has refused to underwrite the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), due to the project’s failure to meet ESG standards. Backed by Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the proposed 900-mile heated crude oil pipeline from Hoima, Uganda, to the Port of Tanga in Tanzania would cut through agricultural land and threaten wetlands in the Lake Victoria Basin. Hannover Re’s announcement follows similar commitments from Swiss Re, Axa, Zurich, and SCOR. It also adds pressure on Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, and Lloyd’s of London to renounce the project.
Activists, some of whom met with Pope Francis last week seeking his support in their fight against the pipeline, point out the project violates human rights, including the right to property of those it would displace, in addition to the health and wellbeing harmed by its direct pollution and contribution to climate change. “We’ve demanded that they take action but instead we continue to see continued investment in fossil fuels,” Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate told Crux after meeting with Pope Francis. “It is time to escalate our efforts to end the age of fossil fuels and having the Pope acknowledge our campaign to ‘StopEACOP’ lends even more moral authority to our demands.” (Hannover Re: Inclusive Development, Insurance Day, The Insurer; Pope: Crux, AllAfrica)