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Paris Demonstrations Against Uganda - Tanzania Pipeline

FILE - Ugandan climate activist and pipeline opponent Vanessa Nakate is interviewed by The Associated Press in Kampala, Uganda, December 6, 2021.

About 30 young campaigners from the Stop Total collective demonstrated in front of the French offices of Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Britain's Standard Chartered, two banks linked to a proposed oil pipeline between Uganda and Tanzania.

The Paris protestors demanded the two banks pull back from the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a 1,443-kilometer heated pipeline being jointly developed by France's TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), along with the state oil companies of Uganda and Tanzania.

Demonstrators fashioned a red line made of sticky tape to symbolize the Equator Principles.

"Which side are you on?" said a sign held by one of the protestors.

The Equator Principles are a set of guidelines requiring banks to take into account the social and environmental impact of projects they finance. SMBC and Standard Chartered are among the 138 signatories of the voluntary scheme.

TotalEnergies owns 62 percent of the company which holds the license for the pipeline. SMBC are financial advisors to EACOP's operators, together with South Africa's Standard Bank.

Standard Chartered has reportedly expressed interest in financing the project, which is expected to cost $10 billion, including the development of oilfields.

"We are here to push these banks into disclosing internal reports, which we know have been drafted, assessing the environmental and societal risks of the EACOP project," said Ulysse Vassas, the member of Stop Total who coordinated the international day of action alongside NGO

"They say that EACOP is aligned with the Equator Principles, but we have no proof."

Twenty-four other major banks have already committed not to support the EACOP project, according to