Members of the Pan-African Parliament have sent a strong signal to the European Union Parliament to back off from its attempt to stop the construction of the largest oil pipeline in Africa. The MPs were of the view that climate change cannot be used by the European Union as an excuse to stop development in Africa.

In a resolution for the Pan-African Parliament to support the East African crude oil pipeline project, moved by Hon. Felix Okot Ogong, a member of the Ugandan delegation, and seconded by Hon. Stars Mathe, a member of the Zimbabwe delegation, the MPs noted that the move by the European Parliament is upfront on the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania.

It further noted the negligible contribution by Africa to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which is less than 3.8% of the World’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Legislators at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, slated a vote on the motion to halt the plans to construct the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) citing Human Rights violations in Uganda and Tanzania. It is reported that the motions also seek to push President Emmanuel Macron’s government in pressing the French oil giant, Total Energies SE, to halt the development of the US$3.8 billion Greenfield project.

The 1,445km project could wreak havoc on the environment, increase carbon emissions and cause loss to community land and livelihoods, claim activists.

The EACOP also known as Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline is intended to transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to the Port of Tanga, Tanzania on the Indian Ocean. Once completed, the pipeline will be the longest-heated crude oil pipeline in the world.

Earlier this year, climate activists called out countries like France for hypocrisy towards climate action at the EU-Africa summit where new fossil fuel projects were reportedly being brokered. Activists say the EACOP project is a great threat to not only Ugandans but the whole world because it will be the longest heated crude oil pipeline buried along 1,443 km and producing more carbon emissions yet the world needs to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

However, the resolution requested the Pan-African Parliament to emphasize the fact that Africa and other developing countries must have a different transition agenda that allows them to develop their resources to deal with their pressing development issues to eliminate poverty and improve resilience.

It further noted the energy and economic poverty of Africa and how this situation makes Africa most vulnerable to climate change impacts, and called for support from the rest of the world in putting in place strong adaptation mechanisms that Africa needs to develop its resources including oil and gas, to fight energy and economic poverty.

Story By: Gilbert Borketey Boyefio, with files from Wakanda Network News

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