French green activists block TotalEnergies' annual meeting | MENAFN.COM

Friday, 01 July 2022 01:51 GMT

French green activists block TotalEnergies' annual meeting


(MENAFN- AFP)

More than 100 activists sought to block oil giant TotalEnergies' annual general meeting in central Paris on Wednesday to protest the energy firm's climate policies and continued presence in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Alternatiba protesters handcuffed themselves to each other and impeded shareholders' access to the building, claiming that TotalEnergies is not doing enough to fight climate change.

"It is no longer possible for the old world to serenely meet to validate projects that are destructive to the climate, human rights and peace," the French branch of Friends of the Earth said on Twitter.

Activists unfurled a five-metre (16-foot) long banner saying, "no retreat, no general assembly", a reference to the energy firm's presence in Russia, where it runs liquified gas extraction projects.

The meeting at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in central Paris was eventually declared open by TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne, but with the venue almost empty as so few shareholders had been able to enter.

He said that the AGM could go ahead "as a certain number of shareholders are present".

TotalEnergies is aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century and has pledged to reduce emissions of its petroleum products by 30 percent compared to 2015.

Earlier on Wednesday, the group announced it had bought a 50-percent stake in the US renewables producer Clearway Energy Group, as it seeks to expand its portfolio in the sector in the United States.

Shareholders at TotalEnergies' AGM are due to vote on the group's climate plans, with some announcing in advance that they would vote against.

A group of shareholders representing 0.78 percent of the giant's capital deposited a resolution -- that was rejected -- asking for the group to respect the Paris climate deal, which seeks to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and if possible 1.5 degrees.

"There are shareholders who recognise the climate emergency but on the whole they are still too passive," Greenpeace France campaigner Edina Ifticene told AFP.

On Tuesday, oil giant Shell's general assembly in central London was suspended for two hours due to disruption from climate change activists.

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