Deutsche Bank is not financing a pipeline in Africa that environmental campaigners have said will displace thousands of families and disrupt nature reserves, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Germany’s largest lender has come under pressure to clarify its stance on the financing of the planned $3.5 billion East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
Deutsche has so far not commented on the project despite the pressure increasing ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting. The environmental activist group 350.org is organising a series of protests in the coming days. Many major banks and insurers have already pulled out of this devastating project. They are raising the pressure on Deutsche Bank, as one of the only major banks in Europe that has not yet withdrawn their support for EACOP.
The French energy giant Total, which is developing the pipeline with China National Offshore Oil Corporation, has said it was taking steps to mitigate the environmental and human impact of the project. Deutsche Bank has marketed itself as a bank that companies can turn to as they transition to a greener future. Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said last year that they have placed sustainability at the core of their strategy. Deutsche Bank has never been involved in the financing of the pipeline.
Deutsche Bank said that it supports the transition to a low-carbon economy and its policies prohibit it from knowingly financing projects that clear primary forests, areas of high conservation value and peatlands. The campaign called #STOPEACOP 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.