In two projects, the Tilenga oil development and the East African crude oil pipeline, six French and Ugandan activist organizations accused the French agency of not doing all it could to protect people and the environment (Eacop).
Total Energies and the plaintiff firms remained silent till press time. In a groundbreaking lawsuit based on a 2017 French law holding large corporations liable for environmental and human rights risks, activists asked the court to force Total Energies to suspend projects in East Africa.
The court, however, denied the motion, saying that only a judge who has carefully considered the issue can decide whether the allegations against Total Energies are true and then go on to audit the actual activities.
Since last year, Uganda’s oil case has been a heavy bone of contention. Although Uganda and Tanzania are partnering to build a trans-border pipeline, several environmentalist groups, both local and international outfits and individuals.
Earlier this year, Uganda and Tanzania approved the construction of a $3.5 billion oil pipeline that would transport the country’s crude oil to international markets. The approval follows an application made by a company controlled by France’s Total Energies, (TTEF.PA). Estimated reserves total 6 billion barrels, while recoverable oil stands at 1.4 billion barrels.
After the approval, both countries started receiving more heat from the international community than they had before, including Total Energies. Climate activists have criticized the project, which is planned to run 1,443km from Lake Albert in western Uganda to the port of Tonga in Tanzania, saying it risks uprooting thousands of people and damaging key ecosystems in the two East African nations.
As a result, exhibitions were held in Kampala, London, Paris and New York, while EcoPe exhibitions were also held in 18 other cities, including Tokyo, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Brussels, Sendai, Hoima, Nagoya, Toronto, Fukuoka, Goma. Cape Town, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Vancouver.