"Total, Total, we have to choose, Fossil fuels, or our future", chanted a few dozen demonstrators this Wednesday morning, while the shareholders of Total Energies were expected in Paris for the group's General Assembly. These activists, belonging to the associations Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace or Alternatiba, were still present in front of the meeting place of the General Assembly in the middle of the morning. Shareholders were nevertheless able to enter the building to attend the General Meeting, which began almost on time. The majority of small carriers, on the other hand, were unable to enter the room.
Sitting in front of the Salle Pleyel, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the demonstrators blocked the access of shareholders to the general meeting through the main entrance to the room. Some handcuffed each other. The police, meanwhile, quickly intervened on the spot. Tensions emerged with the demonstrators when shareholders were invited to enter the General Assembly by a door other than that held by the activists, as noted by Clément Lanot, an independent journalist present at the scene.
The environmental activists present accuse the group specializing in energy of continuing part of its activity in Russia. Indeed, Total Energies has, despite the war in Ukraine, decided to maintain its positions in Russian gas. On the other hand, the group has given up importing oil from the country, which is subject to European sanctions.
Some activists have thus unfurled a banner of about five meters in front of the room "No withdrawal, no AG", in reference to the presence of the French gas and oil giant in Russia, where it notably exploits liquefied natural gas . But the banner was removed by security guards.
The demonstrators also criticize the group's climate policy with signs "Stop fossil fuel projects", while shareholders must vote at the general meeting on the group's climate plan. This advisory vote is likely to be stormy, several shareholders having announced that they would vote against the climate plan.
A collective of shareholders representing 0.78% of the capital of the oil giant had also tabled a resolution asking the group to comply with the Paris climate agreement, a resolution which will ultimately not be on the agenda, the board of directors having refused to do so. “There are shareholders who are becoming aware of the climate emergency but in general they are still too passive,” Edina Ifticene, campaign manager for Greenpeace France, told AFP.
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