Protesters outside the Salle Pleyel in Paris were heard chanting “all we want is to bring down Total” and “one, two, three degrees, we have Total to thank”.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

French riot police on Friday fired tear gas at hundreds of climate activists who tried to prevent the oil giant’s annual general meeting TotalEnergies from the event.

Activists from campaign groups including, Friends of the Earth France and Scientists in Rebellion had committed to try to stop a general meeting to condemn TotalEnergies fossil fuel expansion.

Protesters outside Paris’ Salle Pleyel were heard chanting “all we want is to bring down Total” and “one, two, three degrees, we can thank Total,” AFP news agency reported.

It comes amid a sense of palpable frustration among climate activists during the proxy voting period demonstration it is also happening with British oil companies BP and Shell in recent weeks after an extraordinary run of record gains.

Clashes between protesters and police came shortly before the start of a shareholder meeting where investors ultimately rejected a resolution by activists calling on the company to align its climate goals with the landmark. The Paris Agreement and commit to an absolute reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Police officers fire tear gas to disperse climate activists during a protest outside TotalEnergies SE’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Paris, France, Friday, May 26, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The resolution, filed by Dutch activist shareholder group Follow This and 17 institutional investors with 1.1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) under management, won 30% of the vote, up from 17% in the last similar vote in 2020.

“Financial institutions have stepped up their efforts to combat the climate crisis,” Follow This’s Tarek Bouhouch said in a statement.

“The vote is key to forcing Big Oil to cut emissions. Big Oil can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement and must respond to shareholders,” Bouhouch said.

TotalEnergies had he insisted shareholders to vote against the resolution, saying it “does not provide a credible response to the challenges of climate change and would be against the interests of the company, its shareholders and its customers”.

The burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal is the main driver of the climate crisis.

Record profits

At BP’s Annual General Meeting last monthThat resolution, calling for tougher emissions reduction targets by the end of the decade, reached just 17%, down from 15% last year.

At the Shell shareholders meeting earlier this weeksupport for a similar resolution presented by Follow This reached 20%, the same level as in 2022.

Big Oil posted record profits last year, boosted by soaring fossil fuel prices and strong demand for Russian full-scale. invasion of Ukraine.

For its part, TotalEnergies reported net income of $36.2 billion in 2022, double the previous year’s results.

The company’s shares were trading nearly 0.9% higher on Friday afternoon. The share price fell by around 5.5% year-on-year.

Source Link