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NGOs, Pakistanis seek climate trial of French oil giant TotalEnergies

By AFP

May 21, 2024 02:43 PM


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NGOs and a number of individuals including from Pakistan filed a court case against French oil giant TotalEnergies and its top shareholders in Paris on Tuesday, seeking a trial for involuntary manslaughter and other consequences of climate change "chaos".

The case targets the company's board, including chief executive Patrick Pouyanne, and major shareholders that backed its climate strategy, including US investment firm BlackRock and Norway's central bank, Norges Bank.

In a statement, the three NGOs and eight individuals said they accused the group of "deliberately endangering the lives of others, involuntary manslaughter, neglecting to address a disaster, and damaging biodiversity".

The complaint was filed at the Paris judicial court, which has environmental and health departments, three days before TotalEnergies holds its annual shareholders meeting.

A prosecutor will decide whether to file charges.

"This legal action could set a precedent in the history of climate litigation as it opens the way to holding fossil fuel producers and shareholders responsible before criminal courts for the chaos caused by climate change," the NGOs said.

The plaintiffs include "victims or survivors of climate-related disasters" in Australia, Belgium, France, Greece, Pakistan, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.


AFP


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