Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

French police teargas protesters at oil giant’s meeting

Protesters were dispersed with tear gas after sitting in front of the venue holding TotalEnergies' shareholder meeting
Protesters were dispersed with tear gas after sitting in front of the venue holding TotalEnergies' shareholder meeting - Copyright AFP/File Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
Protesters were dispersed with tear gas after sitting in front of the venue holding TotalEnergies' shareholder meeting - Copyright AFP/File Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
Yann SCHREIBER, Nathalie ALONSO

Police fired tear gas to disperse climate protesters trying to block an annual general meeting of French oil giant TotalEnergies in Paris on Friday.

The demonstration caps a series of tumultuous shareholder meetings at major corporations in Europe as activists step up pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprints.

At dawn in the French capital, dozens of protesters tried to enter a part of the street that was blocked off by police trucks to secure the concert hall where TotalEnergies was scheduled to hold its meeting.

A dozen demonstrators managed to sit on the ground in front of the venue, the Salle Pleyel, and were teargassed after ignoring three warnings issued by officers using megaphones.

Some shareholders began to enter the hall as the French company insisted that the meeting would take place while forbidding attendees and journalists to use their smartphones inside.

Protesters chanted “all we want is to knock down Total” and — in reference to rising global temperatures — bellowed “one, two and three degrees, we have Total to thank”.

Some poured a black liquid over their heads.

“We won’t let them go,” said Marie Cohuet, spokeswoman for climate campaigners Alternatiba.

TotalEnergies “embodies the worst of what is done in terms of the exploitation of people and the planet”, Cohuet said.

The company wanted to avoid the chaos of last year when activists prevent some shareholders from attending the annual meeting.

Climate campaigners are growing impatient with oil majors and other companies over their impact on the planet.

Energy majors posted record profits last year as Russia’s war in Ukraine sent oil and gas prices soaring.

– ‘Go faster’ –

During the annual shareholders’ meeting of British group Shell on Tuesday, activists shouted out “Go to hell Shell!”

BP got similar treatment, as did banking giant Barclays, which is accused of financing oil extraction.

TotalEnergies plans to allocate a third of its investments in low-carbon sources of energy and reach 100 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030.

But France’s energy transition minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, urged the company to speed things up on Friday.

“Total invests in renewable energies, but the challenge is to go faster, stronger and above all faster,” she told FranceInfo radio.

TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne rejected criticism against his group in an interview with La Croix newspaper on Wednesday, saying the company must meet growing demand from developing nations.

“No, TotalEnergies cannot lower oil demand on its own,” he said.

tll-nal-ys-cho/uh/lth/yad

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Business

Climate change: The world experience an average of 26 more days of extreme heat over the last 12 months.

Entertainment

Actor Josh Murray ("General Hospital") chatted about starring in the film "Protocol 7."

Business

The UK's Labour party won the backing on Tuesday of 120 business leaders.

Business

The world's top 25 'carbon majors' caused climate damage at a cost of 20 trillion dollars from 1985-2018, but their financial gains were about...