Following a week of protests, Cincinnati Global’s syndicate at Lloyd’s confirmed that it will not insure the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, which has been the subject of international protests.
(Nick Chalk), Active Underwriter with Cincinnati at Lloyd’s confirmed verbally with a member of the Insure our Future campaign, “We 100% do not write this project and we have no intention of ever writing it.”
“Thousands of Ekō and Coal Action Network members sent over 4 millions of emails, thousands of tweets and hundreds of phone calls to 3,140 Lloyd’s managing agents staff, demonstrating to the insurers the unfailing mobilization of people worldwide against the coverage of the shameful EACOP and any new destructive fossil projects, said Leyla Larbi, of international NGO Ekō.”
Talbot (AIG) at Lloyd’s, which has been equally targeted, also by street demonstrations, did not make a statement. Parent company AIG was also targeted the same week by protests at its New York headquarters on EACOP.
Isobel Tarr of Coal Action Network said “The pressure will continue to grow on Talbot and AIG to get them to commit to ruling out EACOP. When their counterparts in the Lloyd’s marketplace have started to rule out this monstrous pipeline, Talbot’s silence starts to sound like complicity with the project and all its associated climate impacts and human rights abuses.”
Following these protests, more accounts of associated human rights abuses have surfaced, as a French civil court heard the case against Total’s conduct brought by African Civil Society organisations. Witnesses detailed the French oil giant’s forceful acquisition of land and property leaving families without food. The case was ruled inadmissible on a technicality.
Meanwhile, community leaders in Uganda have reported an escalation in ‘phsychological torture’, by the Ugandan state, including harrasment and detentions, as the French oil company Total Energies and the Chinese state company CNOOC are moving ahead with the oilfields and pipeline projects.
Baraka Lenga, of the Tanzanian chapter of the international multi-faith network GreenFaith, said: “We applaud Cincinnati Global’s syndicate at Lloyd’s for taking a stand and refusing to insure the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. Their decision sends a strong message that the environmental and human rights impacts of this project cannot be ignored. However, Talbot’s silence in response to the protests is concerning. We urge them and AIG to listen to the concerns of local communities and to prioritize the protection of people and the planet above profit.”
The EACOP would be the world’s biggest heated oil pipeline, stretching nearly 900 miles (1,443 kilometers) through the heart of East Africa from Uganda to Tanzania. The project, developed by the French oil company Total Energies and the Chinese state company CNOOC, has already caused large-scale displacement of local communities and poses grave risks to protected environments, water sources and wetlands in both Uganda and Tanzania. Those include the Lake Victoria basin, which 40 millions of people rely upon for drinking water and food production. If completed, it would also enable the extraction and transport of enough oil to generate over 34 million tons of CO2 emissions per year at peak production, exacerbating the ongoing climate emergency.
Since its inception, the project has faced opposition from affected communities along the pipeline route and their advocates, as well as the global #StopEACOP campaign that they built. For more on this, visit www.stopeacop.net.
To date, 24 banks and 23 insurance companies have ruled out providing support to the EACOP project due to the unacceptable environment and human rights impacts. The EACOP project backers are currently looking for funding and for re/insurance and are approaching the London financial and insurance markets for support. And social movements are responding with creative and direct action
Talbot Underwriting Ltd
Talbot is part of the AIG group of companies and manages the syndicate 1183 at Lloyd’s of London. AIG sets ESG policy for Talbot and has policies against some oil extraction including tar sands, but is also yet to comment on EACOP.
Cincinnati Global Underwriting Ltd
Cincinnati, which manages syndicate 318 at Lloyd’s, has previously issued public statements ruling out Adani Carmichael coal mine and the Trans Mountain Pipeline (Tar Sands)
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