People hailing from Cumbria to London, and everywhere in between, descended on the Mines and Money Conference in London across two days (28th-29th Nov 2023). We demanded that investors stop pouring cash into the mining sector, and instead invest in our collective future. Together with Fossil Free London and other groups, we greeted investors with flyers highlighting risks to investments in mining that mining companies want to hide—such as successful grassroots resistance to mining projects around the world.
We also heard on the grapevine that EMR Capital PTY were attending in the desperate hope of raising the £230 million still needed to start the Whitehaven coal mine. So local campaigners from Cumbria came all the way to London to deliver a message to investors—steer clear of it. To further ruin EMR Capital PTY’s plans, they also handed investors a risk assessment provided by Bank Track outlining risks specific to the Whitehaven coal mine proposal. We even had time to fit in a visit to Talbot insurance company's HQ in the City of London - security saw us coming and put the whole building on "lock down"! But that didn't stop but engaging with employees and making out presence seen (and heard!). We demand that Talbot insurance company rules out the possibility of insuring the Whitehaven coal mine. No insurance = no coal mine!
There’s many options that we must make better use of before clawing the ground up to reach the mineral beneath, and that is where investment is needed. For example, we need:
This would truly be ‘resourcing tomorrow’ - the strapline for this year’s Money & Mining conference. Instead, the conference encourages investment in the rush for remaining minerals, fuelling human rights abuses, land grabs, destruction of local eco-systems, and climate change.
We call out the host of this disastrous conference, the Business Design Centre, which boasts its ethical ‘B-Corp’ status. You might want to raise your concerns with the certifying body about giving these hosts any kind of ethical certification (email@example.com), pointing out that at least three fossil fuel companies advertising coal mines and oil production were touting for investment at the conference (BHP, ADX Energy, and Teck).
On Friday September 15th, as insurers and banks faced a wave of national protest, Coal Action Network announced that five insurers have given guarantees that they will not provide cover for the planned controversial West Cumbria Coal Mine.
The insurers that have ruled out underwriting the mine are AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Argo, Hannover Re and Talanx. These are the first financial institutions to rule out any involvement with the project, and the win represents a new phase in the campaign to stop the project from going ahead.
Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels on September 15-17th saw half a million people joining protests across the globe to call for a just transition away from coal, oil and gas in history, making it the largest climate mobilisation since the start of the pandemic. Over 400 actions, marches, rallies, and events took place around the world, coordinated by more than 780 endorsing organisations with millions of participants taking part. In the UK Protests took place in London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, York, Wrexham, Cardiff, Shrewsbury and Croydon. Hundreds of campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, Mothers Rebellion and Coal Action Network took to the streets assembling with banners and placards, at the doors of financial institutions, yet to rule out supporting the proposed mine.
They were joined by Buddhist and Quaker groups and other members of the local community. Some groups took part in theatrical actions, dressing as canaries to draw the link between the birds used in mines and the toxicity this mine will bring, while others held silent vigils.
These actions at Probitas, AXA XL, Chubb, Hiscox, Travelers, Chubb, Markel, CNA Hardy, and QBE Insurers as well as HSBC bank set out to raise awareness of the issue, by talking to passers by and staff, delivering letters to the insurers at and putting up blue plaques to publicly criticise these financial institutions and make it clear the this is No Time For A Coal Mine.
Andrew Taylor from Coal Action Network said: “The British government has ignored the pressure from people across the UK who are calling for them to stop the climate-wrecking West Cumbria coal mine, so today people have taken to the streets to demand that insurers and banks, including HSBC, turn their backs on this disastrous fossil fuel project. Four insurers stating that they won’t be involved is just the beginning.”
West Cumbria Mining Ltd wants to extract 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal annually from what would be the UK's first new underground coal mine in 30 years. The project has faced fierce public opposition with over 100k people joining the campaign and legal challenges as campaigners believe it goes against the government’s legally-binding net zero emissions target.
Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion who supported the national day of action said: “The West Cumbria mine is incompatible with the UK’s climate commitments and will fuel climate breakdown. The City of London needs to stop funding and insuring new fossil fuels now.”
On 20th of November 2023 members of Coal Action Network, StopEACOP UK and Extinction Rebellion held a protest against Sinosure – a Chinese-state owned insurance company with ties to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The global day of action saw protests in London alongside those in Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Washington DC.
If built, EACOP, majority-owned by French oil company Total, would be the longest heated oil pipeline in the world. However, it has so far been blocked from construction. The project has faced difficulties raising finance and getting insurance after sustained campaigning efforts resulted in numerous banks and insurers committing to rule it out. This is why the Ugandan government has, in an act of desperation, now turned to Chinese institutions to prop it up.
Today’s global actions focused specifically on the state-owned China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Sinosure is said to be in advanced talks with the Ugandan government about providing credit for the project.
In London, protesters dressed in iconic Total red boiler suits and held banners saying “Solidarity with East Africa” and “Sinosure drop EACOP”. The group protested for an hour and handed in a petition signed by thousands of directly impacted citizens opposed to the planned 1443 km pipeline. They were met with two police vans and eight police officers blocking the main door to the Sinosure building at 85 Gresham Street, London. This made for a ratio of two or more police officers per protester. Meanwhile, in Uganda seven activists were arrested for holding an anti-EACOP banner.
Clearly, banks and insurers are afraid of people-power, and are trying to push carbon bomb projects through at the cost of human freedom and natural ecosystems.
However, activists see a golden opportunity to delay and ultimately stop EACOP. According to recent reports, 100km of the pipeline has been produced by Chinese manufacturers and is being shipped to Tanzania, while wells are being drilled in Kingfisher and Tillenga oil fields in Uganda. But, EACOP cannot get its crucial funding without Sinosure’s support, who are expected to make a decision by April 2024 after repeated delays.
The powerful work of campaigners and frontline communities has stopped EACOP in its tracks time and again. As we approach the New Year, the movement is ready to end this project for good and amplify the African voices calling for green jobs and a safe future.
On 18th October dozens of protesters staged a sit-in occupation of the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd's of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
In collaboration with Fossil Free London’s “Oil Money Out” and standing in solidarity with South African activists in Johannesburg, protesters gathered first at Standard Bank then marched waving banners saying “Don't Insure EACOP' and “Don't Insure West Cumbria Mine” to three high profile buildings including the “Walkie Talkie”.
In a simultaneous action others entered the office foyers of Talbot, Chaucer, Ascot, Markel, Allied World, CNA Hardy, Tokio Marine Kiln, and Sirius International and Lancashire Syndicates and refused to leave.
Community members from Cumbria and Uganda joined the protest, sharing the united call to insurers and banks to stop underwriting deadly fossil fuel projects. The West Cumbria Mine will break the UK government’s legally-binding net zero emissions target and the massive 1443 km East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline will wreak havoc on communities, jeopardise ecosystems and water supplies and eliminate the possibility of Earth remaining habitable. There can be no new fossil fuels anywhere if global heating is to remain under 1.5C. Neither project will be able to go ahead without financial backing.
The protesters were joined by Patience Nabukalu, a youth activist from Fridays for Future Uganda who said:
“We have gathered here today to demand that insurers cut ties with the EACOP. By supporting this deadly fossil fuel project they undermine any climate commitments they have made. People in Uganda are facing human rights violations in the name of this project. This has to end.”
Insurers from Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to rule out offering insurance to both the West Cumbria coal mine and EACOP, facing protests at offices across the UK with hundreds of students entering the job market refusing to work for them.
Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion said: “We are calling on all the banks and insurers behind the West Cumbria mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipelines to cut their ties now. Both of these projects will fuel climate breakdown. Lloyd’s of London and the insurers in its market sit at the centre of a web of climate wreckers in the City of London, alongside Barclays and HSBC.”
The occupations came on the second day of the Fossil Free London “Oily Money Out” protests targeting the Energy Intelligence Forum where fossil fuel corporations talk to government. This Forum occurs in the run up to the COP28 Climate Conference where President Sultan Al Jaber CEO of ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), has been captured by fossil fuel corporations.
There must be no more coal, no more gas and we must stop the flow of oil. Join our campaign to stop insuring the climate crisis.
This week, facing mounting pressure from campaigners, Lloyd’s of London syndicate, Probitas1492, ruled out providing insurance for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and its related infrastructure. Probitas was known to insure the mine’s transport system, but also admitted that the mine itself had been insured through the Lloyd’s of London marketplace.
Ash Bathia, Chief Executive Officer of Probitas Managing Agency wrote to Money Rebellion, stating: “I can confirm that Probitas1492 ceased to provide insurance for the Adani Coal Mine at the end of last year, and will also not provide any insurance support in the future for any ancillary or associated activities, including the trainline, once the existing policies expire in the next quarter.”
Various environmental groups have targeted Probitas since February, when an industry tip-off revealed that they were underwriting Adani’s train line and haulage operation. Last week, Money Rebellion activists staged a ‘die-in’ protest at Probitas’s London office. This followed disruption to Lloyd’s AGM in May, and a delivery of giant Valentine’s Day cards asking Probitas to exit the mine, including from the head man of Waddananggu tribe.
Claude Fourcory, Money Rebellion, said: “This is a massive win for the movement. Deadly fossil fuel projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine can’t be allowed to continue. Insurers at Lloyd’s of London are only going to see bigger and bigger protests, as more people understand their involvement in enabling climate breakdown.”
Gurridyula Gaba Wunggu, Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodian, said: “Probitas1492 has made the right decision – this shows the strength and determination of everyone who played their part in forcing their hand. This is also a message to all other Adani financiers and insurers – we are coming for you too and we will not stop until you pull out from Adani. This has been the homeland of our people for millennia. Any insurer or financier still backing Adani is complicit in the destruction of Wangan and Jagalingou homelands and the ethnic cleansing of our culture and people. Don’t underestimate our determination. We plan to be here until Adani is forced to abandon this project, so we can watch them pack up and leave our homelands for good.”
Set to be the largest coal mine in Australia, Carmichael has been called a ‘carbon bomb.’  The Queensland project would produce enough coal over its lifetime to emit 4.6 billion tonnes of CO2, equivalent to over ten years of the UK’s annual emissions. The Australian coal is burned in Adani’s Godda power station in Jharkhand, India, which is already mired in human rights abuses including forced displacement, and two workers have been killed on site.
Probitas1492 now joins 45 of the world’s biggest insurers who have distanced themselves from the mine, including five that had previously provided Adani with coverage: Brit, Apollo, Ascot, Aspen, Tokio Marine and Kiln. 28 of these insurers manage syndicates at the Lloyd’s marketplace.
Marsh McLennan, the world’s largest broker, stopped arranging insurance for Adani last year due to pressure over the project’s environmental abuses.
The Adani Carmichael mine has received widespread condemnation from climate scientists and activists, both locally and internationally, for its impact on water usage and carbon emissions. The mine’s Abbot Point coal port is located in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and campaigners estimate the mine would bring 500 coal ships through it every year.
The springs are sacred to the land’s traditional owners, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, who have never given their free, prior and informed consent to the mine. Indigenous leaders have resisted the project since its inception.
Pablo Brait, Campaigner at Market Forces in Australia said: “The Carmichael coal mine is one of the most controversial projects in Australia’s history. It will drain the region of billions of liters of water per year, putting agriculture at risk. It is increasing industrialisation in the already distressed Great Barrier Reef, and it will fuel worsening floods, heatwaves and bushfires. The Carmichael operations are paving the way for more climate-wrecking coal mines in the region, and its dirty coal is being used by Adani to expand its fossil fuel burning activities in India.”
More trouble for Adani
Adani began exporting small amounts of coal from Carmichael in 2022 – 8 years behind schedule – and has been rocked by difficulties throughout.
Earlier this year, Lockton, another top-10 global broker, entered talks with Adani, before deciding in July not to proceed after pressure from campaign groups and staff.
In total, 113 major companies in the banking, insurance, rail freight and engineering sectors have now ruled out support for Adani Carmichael, or the Adani Group entirely. This includes banking giants BNY Mellon and China’s ICBC.
Controversy for Lloyd’s
Probitas1492’s involvement with Adani is understood by campaigners to have caused controversy within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace. Lloyd’s policy, as of 1 January 2022, asks syndicates not to take on new thermal coal risks. Lloyd’s has been criticised, however, for failing to implement this.
Andrew Taylor, Coal Action Network said: “The fact that the Adani coal mine infrastructure was still being insured through Lloyd’s points to an abject failure of its ESG policy. It shouldn’t take thousands of people from across the world to pressure Lloyd’s managing agents to cut ties with new fossil fuel projects. These companies need to act themselves and adopt policies and behaviour that reflect the existential threat climate change poses.”
Due to the pooled nature of coverage written at Lloyd’s, other syndicates may still be involved in Adani Carmichael. Lloyd’s managing agents yet to comment publicly on their involvement include: Barbican, Hamilton, Markel, Renaissance Re, SA Meacock and Starr.
Probitas1492’s withdrawal follows comments from Dominic Hoare, Chief Underwriting Officer at Lloyd’s Munich Re Syndicate and a senior industry figure, on the reputational risk of insuring fossil fuels: “Reputation is now key and reputation affects your share price…From our point of view, pressure to cease underwriting is very effective. Insurance is an incredible tool for enacting change.”
Lloyd’s of London is the world’s oldest and largest global insurance market. Developed in the 1600s, it drew its initial wealth from insuring the slave trade. It remains the world’s largest insurer of fossil fuels.
In March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body of the world's leading climate scientists, released the last instalment of their sixth assessment report (AR6). This delivered a "final warning" – the comprehensive review of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile and runs to thousands of pages, but boiled down to one message: act now, or it will be too late.
Yet, according to the report, we still have hope of staying within 1.5°C. Hoesung Lee, the chair of the IPCC, said: “This synthesis report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a livable sustainable future for all.”
Together, as part of this global movement, we need to keep the pressure on the governments, financiers, insurers, and fossil fuel companies that are pushing us deeper into climate crisis, putting profits above people and our planet. We've compiled five actions you can take with us, based on the report's findings and recommendations.
According to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, “no new coal and the phasing out of coal by 2030 in OECD countries” is step #1 to accelerate climate action.
Yet Wales is about to decide whether to expand the UK's biggest opencast coal mine, by four years and 2 million tonnes of coal. Sign our petition to call on the Welsh Government to stop this from going ahead: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/don-t-expand-uk-s-biggest-opencast-coal-mine.
The reports states there will be dire consequences if countries scrap carbon pledges. That’s exactly what the Whitehaven coal mine would do, which was approved by the UK government last December.
It's still possible to stop the mine, and our friends at South Lakes Action on Climate Change want to do – but we need your help. Donate to help them mount a Judicial Review against Whitehaven coal mine in Cumbria: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-the-cumbria-coal-mine/.
Guterres points to the backers of fossil fuel companies. Adani’s Carmichael coal mine can only be financed because Lloyd's of London syndicate Probitas 1492 insures it. No insurance = no coal mine.
Sign up to tell Probitas staff to drop this project: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/take-regular-action-to-stop-adani.
Insurers listen up: oil&gas shouldn’t be funded or licensed…so don’t insure it! Set to be the world’s biggest heated oil pipeline, EACOP must be stopped.
Take regular action emailing insurance staff to warn them not to insure EACOP: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/take-regular-action-to-stopeacop-2/.
As we said, the report isn't without hope: “as it shows, the 1.5-degree limit is achievable. But it will take a quantum leap in climate action.”
If you want to get inspired, we recommend watching FINITE: The Climate of Change, an award-winning feature documentary about people standing up against the fossil fuel industry. Check out their Twitter for details of any upcoming screenings: https://twitter.com/finitedoc. Or you can watch FINITE online now via WOWFilm. Only available for 200 views, over half have gone already, so make sure not to miss it! The price is “pay what you feel. If you can, please donate so they can keep making films.
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)
Yesterday, 23rd February activists from the StopEACOP Coalition held an ‘oil spill’ demonstration outside the offices of two insurance companies, Talbot & Cincinnati Global Underwriting to demand the companies rule out the controversial East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Activists staged a moveable ‘oil spill,’ with hazard signs that highlighted the risks of the controversial project, outside the offices of Talbot, before taking the scene with them to Cincinnati Global Underwriting to target staff at both Lloyd’s of London insurers. Activists brought banners naming the individual insurers, demanding they distance themselves from fossil fuel projects like EACOP, and talked to staff to urge them to raise the matter internally.
Meanwhile, phone calls poured into the offices of both companies with supporters of the demonstration urging the company to take a position against EACOP on environmental and human rights grounds.
On the reason for targeting the firms Talbot and Cincinnati, Elara Shurety of Coal Action Network explained:
"While Cincinnati and AIG (parent company of Talbot) have ruled out other climate-wrecking projects such as Adani and the Trans Mountain Pipeline, they have stayed silent when asked about EACOP, and their oil and gas policies are relaxed enough to permit them to insure this climate disaster. We know that EACOP is seeking insurance at Lloyd’s where these companies manage syndicates."
Despite the growing controversy around the project, including human rights violations, the French oil company Total Energies and the Chinese state company CNOOC are moving ahead with the oilfields and pipeline projects.
Despite the growing controversy around the project, including human rights violations, 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 urge Talbot and Cincinnati to commit publicly to ruling out the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Our land, water, and natural resources are integral to our livelihoods and culture, and this pipeline poses a significant threat to our well-being and future with unacceptable risks and impacts. We implore the insurance companies to stand with us by prioritising the health and safety of our communities, as well as the preservation of our environment. Let us work together towards sustainable development that benefits everyone, instead of supporting a project that will only bring harm to our beloved home."
Maxwell Atuhura, of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) in Buliisa, Uganda, said: "Financial institutions and insurers that choose to lend their financial muscle to harmful fossil fuel projects, must recognise their role in fuelling the climate crisis that is devastating communities. It's time these institutions make a conscious effort to transition towards more sustainable and ethical investments. Those which have ruled out EACOP have chosen to prioritise the lives of communities and the future of our planet and generations to come."
The protest comes on day four of a coordinated 'global week or action on EACOP' by the StopEACOP coalition of civil society groups including Coal Action Network, Money Rebellion, Let’s Stop EACOP UK, BankTrack and Tipping Point UK. Throughout the week Lloyd’s insurers have been targeted through street demonstrations, online activities and phone calls. Since Monday an unprecedented 4 million emails have been sent to Lloyd's of London insurers by thousands of global supporters of the campaign, in a ‘communications blockade’ urging them to join the 22 other insurers that have already ruled the project out.
AIG, parent company of Talbot, will also be targeted by the StopEACOP global week of action in New York in a demonstration on Friday 24th February in NY on Friday.
Today we delivered Coedie's message and thousands others from around the world in the form of 6ft tall talking valentines cards, to all three of Probitas 1492's UK offices: Lloyds of London, Lime Street (London), and Manchester.
We want to make sure they can't ignore indigenous communities, and people all over the planet who will be impacted by this climate bomb. Check out some pictures from our action, your messages, and how to get involved in keeping the pressure on Probitas.
Printed inside the card: a lot of love for the planet and for the community resistance - not a lot of love for Probitas.
We need to show Probitas that the global movement against Adani won’t let them get away with their involvement. Will you join us and ramp up the pressure we’re placing on them?
We're asking our supporters to sign up to take regular action, emailing staff at Probitas over their companies role in enabling this carbon bomb. We'll be sending you new contact details at every few days – no two people will be receiving the same staff to contact. This tactic means that together we can contact more staff, and be as effective as possible in turning up the heat. Let's convince them to stop insuring climate breakdown.
As always, we'll be providing you with example emails to use & help along the way.
When we’ve taken action together, the #StopAdani movement has won against insurers and brokers again and again - now the industry knows it's one of the most controversial projects in the world. We need to make sure this climate-wrecking project has nowhere left to go.
Let’s make sure Probitas knows what it’s getting into: send your message today.
Four insurers ruled out EACOP in the past two weeks due to pressure from activists and engagement with campaigners, with Canopius the latest to distance itself from the mega-pipeline
A statement from Canopius followed the hand delivery of a letter from Money Rebellion, urging them to rule out the controversial project. Lee Jones, Head of Marketing and Communications at Canopius said: “Canopius can confirm that we have no involvement, or plans to be involved with the insurance of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.”
The East Africa Crude Oil pipeline, or EACOP is a 1,443 kilometre pipeline planned for Uganda and Tanzania. It threatens to displace thousands of families and farmers from their land, severely degrade critical water resources and wetlands in both Uganda and Tanzania, and rip through numerous sensitive biodiversity hotspots. The oil transported via the pipeline would generate 34 million tons of carbon emissions each year. Local resistance against the project has been ongoing since 2017 as an international Stop EACOP campaign has led advocacy since 2020.
Activists pointed to insurers who have been contacted but are yet to rule out the project, including Brit, Chaucer and Tokio Marine Kiln, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and AIG, as the next targets. All have syndicates within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace which has been criticised over its lack of robust exclusions on fossil fuels.
Further companies with syndicates in the Lloyds marketplace yet to respond to the request for information about their involvement in EACOP include Cincinnati Global and Lancashire Syndicates.
This week, the Extinction Rebellion group, Money Rebellion, will hand-deliver letters to Brit, Chaucer, Tokio Marine Kiln and Chubb, encouraging them to rule out the controversial scheme.
Hundreds of activists from around the world have joined an online platform supporting them to contact insurers and make a case for staying away from EACOP by exposing the numerous climate, environmental, social risks and human rights violations associated with the project. Coal Action Network estimates that by Tuesday morning around two thousand emails will have been received by staff at Brit and Chaucer.
Last week the East African regional insurer Britam ruled out the project in response to a complaint that it did not meet the IFC (International Finance Consortium) Performance Standards. Arch and AEGIS, both Lloyds of London syndicates also ruled out involvement.
Samuel Okulony, of Ugandan organisation and #StopEACOP partner Environment Governance Institute (EGI), said, "Supporting projects that are marred by human rights violations, environmental degradation, and the destruction of our country's natural heritage is unacceptable. While some reinsurers and banks have abandoned the EACOP project due to its disastrous nature, we continue to urge those who are still considering it to refrain from being complicit and to withdraw financial support."
Isobel Tarr of Coal Action Network added, “Because the project can’t be fully insured in-country, global insurance broker Marsh is seeking insurance for EACOP on the international market. Lloyds of London is top of the list, and all the companies the #StopEACOP campaign is targeting syndicates there. If Lloyd’s brought in robust exclusions on fossil fuels then their syndicates wouldn’t be subject to such pressure from campaigners on projects like EACOP.”
EACOP has been condemned by the European parliament for its associated human rights abuses in Uganda and Tanzania with arrests and indefinite detention of peaceful protestors taking place in October, forcing other insurers to distance themselves. The pipeline and associated Tilenga oil field are expected to displace almost 118,000 people in Uganda and Tanzania. And nearly a third of the pipeline would be built in the Lake Victoria Basin, on which more than 40 million people depend for their water and food production and where an oil spill would be disastrous.