STANDARD BANK “Clean up your act! Stop funding our destruction!”

On the day of the Standard Bank AGM (taking place in Jhb) Members of Extinction Rebellion Cape Town will stage a performance protest action outside the Standard Bank Offices in Cape Town. They will dress as a cleaning crew (The Dirty Scrubbers) and clean the outside of the bank, while urging Standard Bank to CLEAN UP THEIR ACT, to stick to their (Equator) principles and to NOT fund the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. A protest will also be taking place in Johannesburg at the Standard Bank offices in Rosebank.

Our demand to Standard Bank is: Immediately withdraw from the EACOP project for non-compliance with the Equator Principles, that you have signed.

Press Statement: The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is a proposed 1,443km crude oil pipeline that would run from Uganda to the northeastern coast of Tanzania. The project includes plans to drill 130 oil wells in Murchison Falls National Park and to develop oil fields on the shores of Lake Albert. If completed, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will displace communities, destroy wildlife habitats and tip the world closer to a full-blown climate catastrophe. The future of Africa relies on building sustainable, diversified and inclusive economies – not on letting huge multinational corporations extract resources and keep the profit, leaving an environmental mess behind them. Investing in renewable energy, tourism, small-scale agriculture and reforestation programs will provide far more jobs to local communities, a wider range of economic benefits for East Africa and a cleaner environment which will benefit the whole world. Building the biggest heated oil pipeline in the world is expensive and relies on support from investors, banks, insurers, etc. Globally, 20 banks (including Total’s seven largest financiers) have made clear they will not finance the project. Africa has a unique opportunity to direct investment towards the development of sustainable, equitable energy generation which prioritises energy access for all. There is no justifiable basis to argue that significant and extended new fossil fuel investment is required for Africa’s development. On the contrary, there is significant evidence that increasing Africa’s exposure to fossil fuels would have severely negative impacts. Standard Bank shareholders should also be concerned about the financial risks inherent in investment in new fossil fuels. The global decarbonisation imperative means that fossil fuel markets are rapidly shrinking. This also places new fossil fuel infrastructure at significant risk of becoming stranded assets. Financial institutions have a crucial role to play in tackling the climate crisis and enabling a shift to a just and clean energy economy.

We urge Standard Bank to make a final and public statement confirming that they will not support EACOP. Your decisions and actions today will have lasting effects for centuries to come.

Notes to Editors:

About the Equator Principles The Equator Principles are a financial industry benchmark for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects. They are intended to serve as a common baseline and risk management framework for financial institutions. A 2022 report assessing the East African Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and associated oil fields against internationally recognized environmental and human rights standards for financial institutions finds numerous violations, putting banks at risk if they sign on to support the project. The assessment, undertaken by the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), Inclusive Development International (IDI) and BankTrack, suggests that the project is not in compliance with many of the criteria set forth in the Equator Principles and the Environmental and Social Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), two internationally recognized standards for responsible finance..

Read the full press release here

Read a summary on this case, on our Resources page