France: Greenpeace is being sued by French oil giant TotalEnergies over an emissions report
The French oil major TotalEnergies has sued the natural group Greenpeace France and the environment consulting firm Factor X over a report guaranteeing that the organization hugely misjudged its 2019 ozone harming substance emanations, All out said on Wednesday.
The civil complaint, which was served on April 28, seeks a ruling that the November publication contains “false and misleading information,” a judicial order to withdraw the publication, and a symbolic €1 in damages in addition to €2,000 in fines per day.
Although it will be several months before a judge begins to rule on the merits of the case, a first procedural hearing will be held on September 7 at the Paris judicial court to set a date for arguments.
The oil major was accused by Greenpeace and Factor-X of emitting approximately 1.64 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, but it only disclosed 455 million tonnes in public statements.
TotalEnergies argued that the report intentionally double-counted emissions by employing questionable methods that were morally detrimental to the listed company.
A spokesperson for TotalEnergies stated, “This is a question of principle, and a judgment from the court will not prevent Greenpeace from continuing to criticize us and our climate strategy if they wish.” However, the spokesperson also reminded Greenpeace that “public debate on issues with such high stakes concerning a listed company require rigor and good faith.”
The TotalEnergies representative added that the organization’s fundamental objective was to have the court perceive the purposely misleading nature of the report, since the Element X firm behind the math introduced itself as a specialist in the field of fossil fuel byproducts bookkeeping.
It was not immediately possible to reach Factor-X for a response.
Greenpeace said that the lawsuit was an attempt to stop it before the TotalEnergies general assembly on May 26, when activist shareholders will try to get the company to make more commitments to the environment. In protest of the company’s global oil and gas projects, environmental groups have called for entry to be blocked.
According to Greenpeace France director Jean-François Julliard, “TotalEnergies wants to drag Greenpeace through a long legal process… erase our reports and prevent us from denouncing their misleading and climate-killing practices.” We will continue to shed light on their role in climate change.”