French power giant Total Energy defended itself after police threw tear gas at climate change activists before its annual meeting in Paris on Friday. The government has asked the company to accelerate the switch to renewable energy.
“The climate is at the heart of our concerns,” Total Energy chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told hundreds of attendees at a concert hall in the capital Salle Pleyel.
He said the company has done more to invest in renewable energy than others, adding that it also needs to meet growing global demand for oil.
French police had earlier used tear gas to disperse demonstrators sitting in front of the venue, ignoring three warnings to move.
Pouyanne said she regretted having to take “unusual steps” in both reporting to the police and restricting entry to the event.
But outside the concert hall, hundreds of protesters remained on streets cordoned off by police as shareholders entered.
Police said four people were detained.
“All we want is to beat Total,” cried the demonstrators.
“One degree, two degrees, three degrees, we should all be grateful,” was also repeated in relation to rising global temperatures.
Climate activist Alternativa spokesperson Marie Koyue said Total Energy represented the “worst” of what has been done to exploit people and the planet.
One shareholder, who identified himself as Jean-Paul, defended himself during the break-in.
“We are all concerned about climate issues, but there are also economic aspects and employment issues,” he said.
Climate activists are growing frustrated over the impact oil majors and other companies have on the planet.
Energy giants posted record profits last year after Russia’s war in Ukraine sent oil and gas prices soaring.
TotalEnergies’ net profit is record €18 billion About last year.
The group plans to allocate a third of its investment to low-carbon energy sources and reach 100 GW of power generation. renewable resource Increase power capacity by 2030.
But Agnès Panier-Lunachet, France’s energy transition minister, has urged the company to accelerate its efforts.
“Total is investing in renewable energy, but the challenge is … going faster,” she said. told Francein Radio Friday morning.
total energy The company has about 1.5 million individual shareholders, who are asked to vote in person or online on two climate-related issues during the general meeting.
Investors will first vote on the group’s proposed climate strategy and then cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Vote on the Total Energies motion.
The vote on this motion, proposed by 17 investors collectively holding about 1.5% of the stock, is purely consultative.
TotalEnergies’ business includes liquefied natural gas and oil projects in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Papua New Guinea and Uganda. Ekop Oil Pipeline Under Fire plan.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20230526-french-oil-giant-total-defends-strategy-after-police-teargas-climate-protesters French oil giant Total defends strategy after police teargas climate change protests