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Motion for a resolution - B9-0410/2022Motion for a resolution
B9-0410/2022

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on violations of human rights in Uganda and Tanzania linked to the investments in fossil fuels projects

13.9.2022 - (2022/2826(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Katalin Cseh, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Nicola Beer, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Karen Melchior, Urmas Paet, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0409/2022

Procedure : 2022/2826(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B9-0410/2022

B9‑0410/2022

European Parliament resolution on violations of human rights in Uganda and Tanzania linked to the investments in fossil fuels projects

(2022/2826(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Uganda and Tanzania,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, to which Uganda and Tanzania are signatories,

 having regard to Rule 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas in the Albertine Graben Region, Uganda, multiple nature oil reserves were discovered in 2006 mounting to a total of 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil of which 1.4 billion are presently accessible;

B. Whereas on February 1, 2022, the French firm TotalEnergies (Total), the Chinese firm China National Offshore Corporation (CNOOC), the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development (TPDC) agreed to invest a total $10 billion in the Lake Albert Development Projects; whereas The Lake Albert Development Projects consist of two extraction projects, the Tilenga and KingFisher upstream oil projects in Uganda, and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP);

C. Whereas in order to enable the oil to access the international market the Lake Albert Development Projects will construct the EACOP; whereas the EACOP is projected as a 1443 km pipeline that will transport an estimated 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Kabaale, Uganda to the Tanga port in Tanzania; whereas in order to transport the crude oil, the pipeline will need to be heated up to a temperature of fifty degrees  Celsius; whereas the EACOP can become the longest heated pipeline in the world;

D. Whereas the rights of indigenous communities to Free, Prior and Informed Consent are not being respected in accordance with international standards; whereas the project sponsors and Uganda’s authorities have failed to effectively address the risks facing human rights defenders in relation to the oil projects;

E. Whereas the Assessment of East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Associated Facilities’ Compliance with Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards carried by Inclusive Development International in 2022 finds that serious human rights impacts have already occurred before commercial extraction and construction of the pipeline has even begun;

F. Whereas Total Energies has recently claimed on its website that both projects, Tinenga and EACOP, have been subject to Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) and are conducted in accordance with the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) demanding performance standards, and has been reviewed by third party to ensure that these projects comply with best environmental and social practices; (LOISEAU) whereas the conclusions of the said assessments and reviews have been contested by other independent experts; 

G. Whereas the Albertine Graben Region is one of the world's most biodiverse regions; Whereas the construction and operational phases are expected to cause additional serious adverse impacts to communities within the oil extraction and pipeline areas, including by placing at risk the water resources and irremediably degrading the livelihoods of farmers, fisherfolk and tourism business owners that depend upon the region’s rich natural resources;

H. Whereas both Uganda and Tanzania are parties to the Paris Climate Agreement; whereas the extraction of oil in Uganda would generate up to 34 million tons of carbon emissions each year; whereas the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in a 2021 report that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent climate change’s most destructive impacts would require new oil and gas development to stop immediately;

I. Whereas the EU is the largest development cooperation actor in the world, financing its actions through the new ambitious NDICI Global Europe financial instrument, which is driven by a strong ‘policy first’ and ‘value-driven’ approach; whereas the EU has long years development cooperation with Uganda and Tanzania with the common priorities that covers such areas as good governance and democracy, rule of law and human rights as well as clean and competitive low-carbon economy,  environmental protection and reduction in CO2 emissions;

1. Decries the multiple damaging environmental and social impacts that will arise from the Lake Albert Development Projects in Uganda and Tanzania;

2. Underlines that Lake Victoria in the Albertine Graben Region is a source of life as it is the largest freshwater body in Africa and the largest inland fishery in the world, supporting over 40 million inhabitants; alerts that an oil spill accident would prompt an environmental and humanitarian crisis of overwhelming proportions with decades of enduring effects;

3. Stresses that according to the Assessment of East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Associated Facilities’ Compliance with Equator Principles and International Financial Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards carried by Inclusive Development International in 2022, the risks and impacts already caused by the oil fields and pipeline infrastructure development are immense, and have been exhaustively documented in numerous community-based impact assessments and independent expert studies; deplores that the EACOP is projected to be built in some nature reserves and habitats;

4. Recalls that several French and Ugandan NGOs have taken TotalEnergies to court in Paris over allegedly failing to comply with the duty of vigilance law in their mining project in Uganda, claiming that TotalEnergies failed to implement reasonable vigilance measures adequate to identify risks and to prevent severe impacts on human rights and fundamental freedoms, on the health and safety of individuals and on the environment; notes that the judicial proceeding is still ongoing in France;

5. Underlines that the EACOP pipeline, if completed, will generate an estimated 34 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide per year, greatly jeopardising achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement; recalls that more than 100.000 people are at imminent risk of displacement due to the EACOP project with inefficient guarantees of adequate compensation;

6. Notes with concern that the EACOP pipeline, on its planned route between Uganda to the Tanzanian coast, will disturb nearly 2000 square kilometres of protected wildlife habitats, including the Murchison Falls National Park, the Taala Forest Reserve, the Bugoma Forest, and the Biharamulo Game Reserve, all of which represent one of the most ecologically diverse regions of the world;

7. Calls on the European Union and the international community to exert  maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert, and commit to using the best available means to preserve the culture, health, and future of impacted communities;

8. Notes that over 260 civil society organizations – over 100 of which are Africa-based – have taken various actions on behalf of local communities in opposition to the construction of EACOP and linked projects and as result all financial services firms approached for funding, including three French banks and a total of eleven other international banks have refused to finance EACOP;

9. Calls on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities to ensure and police the fair value of land and to ensure that valuation and compensation processes are just, transparent, and aligned with international best practices; urges both countries’ authorities to ensure that the disputes are resolved fairly and support transparent, citizen-driven oversight;

10. Highlights that the risks facing human rights defenders related to Uganda’s oil projects have prompted the scrutiny of several United Nations Special Procedures, including Special Rapporteurs, who in 2020 wrote letters to TotalEnergies and to the French and Ugandan governments; notes that Special Rapporteurs again raised concern in July 2021, after a human rights defender and journalist were arbitrarily arrested and detained without charge while conducting interviews with affected communities in Uganda’s Buliisa district, and a third time in January 2022 after several human rights defenders and community leaders working on controversies surrounding oil and gas projects were intimidated and arrested;

11. Demands the authorities of Uganda and Tanzania to refrain from arbitrary the detainment, persecution, and judicial harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and civil society activist and organisations; reiterates its calls from its resolution of 11 February 2021, particularly insists again that the EU and other international actors maintain and strengthen their integrated and coordinated approach on Uganda, which includes the promotion of good governance, democracy and human rights, and the strengthening of the justice system and rule of law, and urges the EU and its Member States to raise these concerns through public and diplomatic channels;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the President of the Republic of Uganda, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, The President of Tanzania, the Speaker of Tanzanian Parliament and the African Union and its institutions.

 

 

Last updated: 13 September 2022
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