French police use tear gas to disperse protest against TotalEnergies

    WORLD  27 May 2023 - 14:54

    French police on May 26 used tear gas and pepper spray on climate protesters outside the Salle Pleyel in Paris where the annual general meeting of TotalEnergies group was held.

    A TotalEnergies shareholder who came to the meeting told European Parliament Deputy Manon Aubry outside the venue, "you are parasites," when asked about the responsibility of multinational corporations, Anadolu Agency reports.

    "You do nothing as an MEP (Member of European Parliament)," he added.

    Aubry took to Twitter to share her response. "When it comes to lobbying, the European Parliament seems very useful to them,” she wrote.

    Prime Minster Elisabeth Borne said the activists were "in their role to alert" as she was headed to the Cote-d'Or department in northeastern France, BFMTV reported. “We all need to speed up the ecological transition,” she added.

    Other political figures voiced criticism of the government's position toward the company.

    Aurelien Tache, deputy for Val-d'Oise, a department in the Ile-de-France region of northern France, tweeted: "Emmanuel Macron's militias protect the capital of TotalEnergies. Did you say democracy?"

    "Instead of requiring the company TotalEnergies to stop its climaticide strategy, the state protects it," said Sophie Taille-Polian, deputy for Val-de-Marne in the same region.

    TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne defended the company.

    “The climate is at the heart of our concerns," he said. "If TotalEnergies gives up producing hydrocarbons ... someone else will produce this oil and this gas because society needs it.”

    Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher emphasized Friday, in an interview with France Info radio, that oil and gas companies must "reinvent themselves" and face the reality that they have no future unless they can devise a transition away from fossil fuels.

    Caliber.Az

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