Your public comment will be delivered to corporate executives at the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation:
We are deeply disturbed by SMBC’s continued support for fossil fuel projects including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.
The International Energy Agency’s “Net Zero by 2050” scenario calls for ending fossil fuel expansion, and declares that there is no room for investments in new oil and gas production and transport infrastructure in a pathway to net zero. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also warns that in order to limit warming to around 1.5°C, substantial reductions in fossil fuel use are necessary.
Despite these recommendations and SMBC’s own commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement, Net Zero Banking Alliance, and the Principles for Responsible Banking, SMBC has poured over $109 billion into dirty oil, gas and coal projects between 2016 and 2021. SMBC ranks as the world’s 4th largest funder of LNG - the worst of all the Japanese banks.
As you know, SMBC is the financial advisor for TotalEnergies and joint lead arranger for the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline, a 1443-kilometer pipeline from the oilfields in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, crossing the basin of Lake Victoria and the Murchison Falls-Albert Delta wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The full value chain emission estimates over the pipeline’s 25-year lifetime are approximately 378 million metric tonnes of CO2. The project is inconsistent with limiting temperature rise to the 1.5ºC limit of the Paris Agreement.
This project also poses serious risks for SMBC. The project is facing litigation in the East African Court of Justice, France, and Uganda. Over a million people have signed a petition against the project. By continuing to support EACOP, the world will associate SMBC with the project’s dirty oil that will harm the wildlife in Tanzania and Uganda, the copious amounts of CO2 it will emit, and the construction that will displace thousands of people.
This project is so toxic that over 30 financial institutions have so far publicly ruled out their involvement in it. This includes Mizuho, which said that it will not finance EACOP “unless the ongoing E&S issues are resolved.”
We cannot mitigate the climate crisis while banks like SMBC continue financing dirty fossil fuel projects. We urge you to fulfill your commitments to the Paris Agreement, the Net Zero Banking Alliance, and the Principles for Responsible Banking by ending SMBC’s support for fossil fuels, starting with EACOP.
Fossil fuels are toxic investments that are worsening the climate crisis and pose a serious risk to SMBC’s international reputation.