ROME, MAY 26, 2022 – Laudato Si’ Movement applauds the decision by Italian Export Credit Agency SACE to join the growing number of financial institutions declining to invest in the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The decision, made just days before Laudato Si’ Week, comes after a series of engagements from Laudato Si’ Movement and our partners throughout the world. The decision’s close timing to Laudato Si’ Week serves as yet another reminder of the power of good in the world, especially when Catholics come together and advocate for the health of all of God’s creation.

Prince Papa, Africa Campaigns Manager for Laudato Si’ Movement, said: “SACE recognized what so many other financial institutions and organizations have realized: the world doesn’t need EACOP. EACOP would transport oil that the world doesn’t need. EACOP would be another fossil fuel infrastructure project that the world can’t afford to build. And EACOP would be another obstacle in the world’s efforts to achieve the bold and needed Paris Agreement goals. We thank SACE for their responsible decision and look forward to the day when the final financial institution withdraws their support from this destructive project, allowing God’s creation to flourish throughout Uganda and Tanzania.”

EACOP is a proposed 1,443-kilometer pipeline that, if built, would be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world. It would begin in Hoima in Uganda and end in the port of Tanga in Tanzania. Along the way, the pipeline would rip through and damage national parks, forests, reserves, and farmland. Already, the pipeline has displaced thousands throughout the region.

Conversations and events throughout Laudato Si’ Week, which started Sunday and ends May 29, have focused on the need for all people and institutions to take urgent action for God’s creation. On Wednesday, world-renowned professor and author Jeffrey D. Sachs led a dynamic conversation about how faith-based institutions can lead the way to a safer future, including by divesting from fossil fuels.

“Earth is going to get more and more dangerous as the warming continues. We already have record heat waves, droughts, floods, rising sea levels, new disease infestations, pests, crop failures, with what we have now,” Sachs said.

“It’s going to get disastrously worse unless we make a decisive change of our energy and land use systems to stop pushing Earth into a higher and higher temperature. And we know what that entails. That entails a mass conversion of the energy system from fossil fuels to renewable energies, and a massive shift of our farm systems, from extensive farming based on deforestation, to intensive high-productivity farming, within the areas that we have now without further deforestation, and indeed, with reforestation and recuperation of degraded land to capture more carbon in the vegetative cover and the soils.”