According to a source familiar with the situation, Deutsche Bank would not fund a pipeline in Africa that environmentalists claim will relocate thousands of families and destroy nature reserves.
The projected $3.5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which would span over 1,400 kilometers from Uganda to Tanzania, has prompted Germany’s top lender to explain its position on financing.
Despite mounting criticism ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting on Thursday, Deutsche has yet to comment on the initiative. In the coming days, the environmental activist group 350.org will hold a series of protests.
“Many major banks and insurers have already pulled out of this devastating project. We’re raising the pressure on Deutsche Bank, as one of the only major banks in Europe that has not yet withdrawn their support for EACOP,” 350.org has said ahead of the planned protests.
Total, the French energy company that is building the pipeline alongside China National Offshore Oil Corporation, has stated that it is taking steps to reduce the project’s environmental and human impact.
In recent years, Deutsche Bank has promoted itself as a bank that can help businesses move to a more environmentally friendly future.
“We have placed sustainability at the core of our strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said last year.
The pipeline has never been financed by Deutsche Bank, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it doesn’t comment on individual clients but that it “supports the transition to a low-carbon economy” and that its regulations prevent it from knowingly supporting projects that remove primary forests, and high-conservation-value areas, and peatlands.
The campaign called #STOPEACOP https://www.stopeacop.net/home says on its website that the pipeline puts at risk water for millions of people, and will cut through land critical for elephants, lions, and chimpanzees.