After BP and Shell, comes the turn of TotalEnergies: the French hydrocarbon giant is preparing for an electric general meeting on Friday morning, targeted before its opening by scuffles between demonstrators for the climate and the police, while shareholders are also at odds with its climate policy.
At dawn, dozens of climate demonstrators tried to enter the stretch of street passing in front of the Salle Pleyel, in the beautiful districts of Paris. A dozen of them, who had sat in front of the entrance, were dislodged by the police and scuffles took place, noted an AFP journalist. The police used tear gas canisters to dislodge the demonstrators.
“The police, take it easy, we’re doing this for your children” shout the environmental activists who are trying to prevent the holding of the GA of TotalEnergies.
The security guards in the Salle Pleyel are violent with the demonstrators and with the press. pic.twitter.com/bLnLzgZg2i
— Paul Larrouturou (@PaulLarrouturou) May 26, 2023
A coalition of NGOs called for the meeting to be blocked and dozens of activists are now seated at the entrances to rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, chanting in particular “ what we want is to overthrow Total ” And “ one, two and three degrees, it’s Total to thank “.
” Total’s AGM will not take place »
The meeting comes at the end of a stormy GA season, where activists have stepped up actions against large groups, such as competitors Shell and BP or Barclays bank, accused of financing the expansion of hydrocarbon projects . All against a backdrop of staggering profits: together, the majors BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and TotalEnergies posted more than 40 billion dollars in profits this quarter, after a grandiose year 2022.
A sign of the expected tensions, TotalEnergies will prohibit shareholders and journalists from using their mobile phones, and will force them to leave certain personal effects at the entrance. The group wants above all to avoid the chaotic scenario of last year when NGO activists prevented shareholders from entering the AG.
The authorities expect the presence of 200 to 400 activists, who absolutely want to prevent the holding of the GA “, According to a police source.
” Total’s AGM will not take place “, immediately warned at the end of April in a forum the signatories 350.org, Alternatiba, Friends of the Earth, ANV-COP21, Attac, Greenpeace, Scientists in rebellion and XR. ” This general meeting plans to perpetuate the strategy of the oil company: always more fossil projects and an unfair distribution of superprofits which fuels climate and social injustice “, they denounce.
Shareholders ask TotalEnergies to reduce its CO2 emissions
Some shareholders are also filing proposals to ask companies for more concrete commitments. For example, further reduce their investments in fossil fuels, or devote more money to the development of renewable energies.
OFI invest, the 5th largest asset manager in France, should not block the assembly of TotalEnergies this Friday, nor join in militant songs. But the investment fund has proposed a resolution to ask the oil giant in particular to no longer invest in new fossil fuel exploration projects (ie gas, oil and coal).
Luisa Florez specializes in responsible finance at OFI invest. For her, climate change is increasingly a financial risk for shareholders. ” When you are building your savings, for example for your pensions, so we are talking about 10 years, 20 years or 30 years, it is certain that taking into account a climate dimension is almost as important as financial issues for any investor. who looks at the long term “, she explains.
The resolution is carried by a group of investors which represents 1.5% of the shareholders of TotalEnergies, so it has no chance of being adopted. But the Carrefour supermarket group, which is holding its general meeting this Friday, has for example taken over a climate resolution initially presented by a group of shareholders.