Several NGOs file criminal complaint against Total Energy for "chaos" caused by climate change

(MENAFN) On Tuesday, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) filed a criminal complaint in Paris against the French oil giant Total energy and its major shareholders, seeking to hold them accountable for manslaughter and other repercussions linked to the "chaos" caused by climate change. The complaint targets the company's board of directors, including CEO Patrick Pouyanne, and significant shareholders such as the American investment firm BlackRock and the Norwegian Central Bank, who have supported Total Energy's climate strategy.

In a joint statement, the three NGOs and eight individuals accused Total Energy of "intentionally endangering the lives of others, manslaughter, neglecting to address the disaster, and harming biodiversity." This legal action was filed with the Paris Judicial Court, specifically involving its environment and health departments, just days before Total Energy's annual shareholders meeting.

According to the NGOs, the public prosecutor has three months to decide whether to initiate a judicial investigation. If prosecutors choose not to proceed, the plaintiffs have the option to take their case directly to an investigating judge. The organizations believe that this legal measure could set a significant precedent in the realm of climate litigation, potentially paving the way for fossil fuel producers and other contributors to climate change to be held criminally accountable.

The plaintiffs include individuals who identify as "victims or survivors of climate-related disasters" from various countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Greece, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. This collective action underscores the growing movement to address the accountability of major corporations in contributing to climate change and its detrimental effects on the environment and human life. 



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