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At a shareholder meeting for oil giant TotalEnergies in Paris, climate protesters are subjected to tear gas

On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, anti-climate protesters staged a demonstration outside the Paris headquarters of the French oil and gas company, TotalEnergies. The demonstration was held in response to the company’s lack of action in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Protesters attempted to gain access to the shareholders meeting, but were repulsed by police who deployed tear gas and rubber bullets. Several protesters were injured in the clashes, and around 200 were detained by police.

The demonstration was organized by Greenpeace France and the France Climate Action Network, a group of activists from across Europe. This was the third consecutive year that Greenpeace has organized protests at TotalEnergies’ Annual General Meeting.

The protest comes as TotalEnergies and other oil majors face growing pressure to significantly reduce their carbon emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. TotalEnergies have set goals to reduce their scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline, and to halve their absolute emissions by 2050.

However, environmentalists argue that these goals are not ambitious enough, as they do not cover the entire company’s scope 3 emissions, and that TotalEnergies needs to move more quickly to transition to a low-carbon economy.

In a statement, Greenpeace France said “Total may talk of climate commitments, but it continues to invest in new oil and gas projects and persists in defending extreme-oil production so-called alternatives, such as shale gas”.

TotalEnergies has yet to comment on the demonstration.