The number of major banks refusing to support EACOP reaches 24
Throughout 2022, TotalEnergies continued to struggle with finding the funds for its controversial and damaging East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. In February 2022 three out of four major South African banks confirmed they would not get involved. In May 2022, Deutsche Bank, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley confirmed they would not join the project loan to finance the the pipeline. By October 2022, Italy’s largest bank Intesa Sanpaolo, Germany’s second largest bank DZ Bank, and Natixis from France joined the growing list of banks rulung out direct finance for the project, bringing the number of banks publicly steering clear of the project to 24. The year also saw PR firm Edelman abandon Standard Bank for its role in the project and the European Parliament call on Total to halt drilling in protected areas. Financial close is yet to be reached, and remains years behind schedule.
BankTrack has advocated for financial institutions' withdrawal from the highly damaging EACOP project since 2018, through engagement with banks, awareness raising about the project's impacts, and as a founding member of the #StopEACOP coalition since 2021. We engaged in writing with all of the banks that withdrew, calling on them to make a public statement committing not to finance the project. In 2022 we published our second and third Finance Risk Updates on the project, and sent these to all potential financiers of the project. Also in June 2022, together with Inclusive Development International, we published an analysis of the compliance of the EACOP project with the requirements of the Equator Principles, finding numerous violations.