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The climate emergency...

Climate change is no longer a threat, it’s a reality. A reality that is intensifying every day across the planet, with direct impacts on our health and deadly consequences for humanity and the biosphere as a whole.

Beneath the surface of the oceans, water acidification and marine heatwaves are disrupting ecosystems. Over 50% of the world’s coral reefs have already perished. If global air temperature rises above 2°C, it is estimated that 99% of corals will be lost by 2050. The decline in plankton production is affecting the entire food chain and could lead to the death of 55% of North Atlantic fish. In recent years, 7,000 humpback whales have already died of starvation, threatening the survival of the species. Oxygen levels fall and some fish populations decrease in size. The major ocean currents that contribute to climate regulation and the stability of weather cycles have already been substantially modified, with an estimated slowdown of 15% since the middle of the 20th century. Their collapse could lead to irreversible meteorological shifts: Europe drying up, the world boiling, the tropical precipitation belt moving southwards, the southern hemisphere weakening…

On land, ravaging heatwaves, chronic and severe drought, forest fires, devastating floods and storms are multiplying. These reported weather-related disasters have increased fivefold in 50 years, averaging one disaster a day. These extreme climatic events ravage natural ecosystems and biodiversity, causing considerable material destruction and serious health problems. Disasters spread disease, cause food shortages, fuel armed conflict and contribute to the mass displacement of populations. Countries in the Global South are the first victims. Today, 600 million people live in an environment considered unviable because of the heat: some have had to migrate, others are barely surviving. Many have lost loved ones, ties, memories, homes and, all too often, even their lives.

This figure is just a preview of what lies ahead: we are only 1.2°C warmer than in the pre-industrial era and the current trajectory will lead to a warming of +3 to +3.2°C by the end of the century.

With the temperatures predicted by global warming scenarios, life on Earth as we know it is doomed.

The Amazon will look more like a savannah than a rainforest and two billion people will experience extreme heat every year. Billions of people will see their lives turned upside down.

What’s underway is a veritable globocide.

Every day that we delay implementing the right decisions means the death of thousands more people. Staying below +1.5°C is not an option, but a duty to present and future generations. Since fossil fuels account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, we need to put an end to their deadly extraction.

I support the case against climate criminals
TotalEnergies' responsibility

TotalEnergies’ activities contribute to climate change, and thus to the four million deaths it has already caused. It is estimated that the heatwaves generated by the oil multinational’s future activities alone could cause the deaths of almost two million more people by the end of the century, only accounting for heat-related deaths.

How have multinationals, their managers and shareholders acquired this power of life and death over our futures?

For 50 years, TotalEnergies has chained us to dependency on fossil fuels.

Since 1971, TotalEnergies has been aware, through a series of studies commissioned by the fossil fuel industry, of the direct link between its oil activities and climate change. But rather than reorienting its activities and opening up a democratic debate on our energy future, the multinational instead established doubt and climate skepticism to undermine any binding regulation of the oil industry.

In the 1990s, the oil group was instrumental in torpedoing two major climate measures: Toronto’s target of a 20% reduction in emissions between 1990 and 2005, and a carbon tax to phase out fossil fuels that was to be extended worldwide after the Rio Summit in June 1992. A sabotage described as “the most ferocious lobbying ever seen in Brussels”, which has delayed climate emergency by 30 years.

TotalEnergies is now the world’s 6th biggest oil company and one of the 20 most polluting multinationals in the world that have deliberately opened “the gates to hell.

The French major has colonized the planet with its deadly projects, emitting 16 billion tons of CO2 – as much as the historical emissions of the world’s 120 lowest-emitting countries.

Despite TotalEnergies’ efforts to present itself as a major player in the energy transition, the figures reveal a very different reality: fossil fuels will still account for 98% of its production in 2023. In 2021, for every unit of electricity generated from renewables, TotalEnergies produced 447 units of hydrocarbons.

Worse still, the multinational is the world’s second most aggressive oil major when it comes to fossil fuel expansion. In the last two years, the French major has launched 13 new exploitation projects and plans to open 16 more. With hydrocarbon exploration activities in 53 countries, TotalEnergies holds first place on the oil colonization podium, far ahead of its competitors Shell and ENI, which are active in only 40 countries.

The warnings issued by the IPCC and the International Energy Agency are clear: all new fossil fuel projects must be abandoned immediately. However, TotalEnergies’ executives continue to trample international scientific recommendations and persist in developing its hydrocarbon production.

TotalEnergies’ executives are shifting their responsibility to “demand” by conflating the need for energy services with a non-existent demand for fossil fuels.

It is now clear that TotalEnergies has no intention of reducing either production or demand for fossil fuels. The multinational’s board of directors bears a crushing responsibility, all the more so as they have the means to actively support this reduction in demand. The major is a CAC40 champion: in 2023, TotalEnergies once again announced that it would be rewarding its shareholders handsomely: 16.6 billion euros have been distributed to them, an amount well in excess of its investment in renewable energies.

I support the case against climate criminals

We are filing a criminal case against TotalEnergies’ board directors and shareholders to put an end to their license to kill

Legal action against the oil majors is multiplying around the world, triggered by a variety of actors: from Honolulu County in the USA to environmental NGOs in the Netherlands and France, from indigenous populations and American states to two farmers in Belgium and Peru. We are part of a global movement calling for climate and social justice to meet the challenges of today.
The oil majors now know that their inaction on climate change will be punished by the courts, and that they must therefore implement a fossil fuel phase-out plan.
French law is a lever we can use to hold criminals to account. TotalEnergies is a major oil company based in France and therefore subject to French law. Bringing TotalEnergies to justice in France sends a clear message to its managers and shareholders: they will have to answer for their criminal acts before the courts.
We, the associations and plaintiffs, accuse TotalEnergies of having committed the following offences: deliberate endanger the lives of others (article 223-1 of the French penal code), involuntary manslaughter (article 221-6 of the French penal code), neglecting to address a disaster (article 223-7 of the French penal code), damage to biodiversity (article L.415-3 of the French environmental code).
Our complaint is based on a new branch of climate science, called attribution science, which demonstrates the causal links between some extreme climatic events (heat waves, floods, fires...) and warming caused by human activities. These extreme events are becoming more frequent and more intense worldwide as a result of climate disruption.
I support the case against climate criminals

Press kit

Press Kit


The full press kit is downloadable here:


Today, three NGOs, BLOOM (France), Alliance Santé Planétaire (France), and Nuestro Futuro (Mexico) and eight climate change victims filed a criminal case in Paris against TotalEnergies’ board of directors and main shareholders for their contribution to climate change and its fatal impact on human and non-human lives. In the context of intensifying climate disasters and just three days before TotalEnergies’ Annual General Meeting, 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.

TotalEnergies, the world’s sixth biggest carbon major, its board of directors and its main shareholders are being sued for deliberately endangering the lives of others, involuntary manslaughter, neglecting to address a disaster, and damaging biodiversity. Each offense is punishable by at least one year of imprisonment and a fine. The prosecutor will have discretion to open a judicial investigation and to determine the roster of individuals facing prosecution. Nonetheless, the complaint filed today targets the board of directors of TotalEnergies, which determines the Group’s strategic direction including its CEO Mr. Patrick Pouyanné, as well as its main shareholders who voted in favour of climate strategies incompatible with limiting global warming to 2°C and against resolutions aiming at aligning the Group’s climate strategy with the Paris Agreement. These include Total’s largest shareholder Blackrock and 6th largest shareholder Norges Bank.

The NGOs and eight plaintiffs hope to establish the criminal liability of TotalEnergies’ directors and shareholders for their contribution to climate change and to have them condemned for past decisions, which they took despite knowing they would trigger tremendous casualties and environmental damage.

This case also seeks to put a definitive halt to the expansion of fossil fuel extraction, which is leading to an unprecedented situation: a “globocide”, i.e. the irreversible disruption of the Earth System and the biosphere as a whole. Additionally, plaintiffs wish to obtain recognition that certain persons or entities like TotalEnergies’ board of directors and main shareholders hold a superior responsibility in the global destruction of the world as we know it.

Rising sea levels and submerged coastlines, deadly heat waves, mega-fires, devastating hurricanes, floods and landslides: the number of reported weather-related disasters has multiplied by five over the past 50 years, impacting the lives of the eight plaintiffs from Australia, Zimbabwe, France, Belgium, the Philippines, Greece and Pakistan as well as that of million other human beings and billions of animals. The disasters that ravaged their lives, such as the 2019 Australian bushfires, the 2021 European floods, and the 2022 Pakistan floods, have undergone scientific attribution studies, which concluded that climate change made each of them stronger and more likely to occur.

Scientists have established that so-called ‘natural’ disasters are less and less natural: their increase in intensity and frequency is a direct consequence of climate change, 80% of which is due to fossil fuels.

Although the International Energy Agency has recommended to halt all new fossil fuel projects since 2021 to keep to a 1.5°C pathway, TotalEnergies has kept opening oil and gas sites across the planet. It has even become the second most expansionist fossil fuel company in the world. The scientific community has determined that opening new fossil fuel projects is not compatible with limiting temperature warming to viable thresholds.

Despite being perfectly aware that climate change kills, the directors and shareholders of the multi-billion-dollar multinational have made the choice to expand oil and gas production for a single reason: to maximize profits.

At the 2023 Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors even called on its shareholders to vote against the resolution to align TotalEnergies’ emissions with the Paris Agreement. This crucial resolution was rejected by 70% of shareholders.

Next the prosecutor has three months to decide whether to open a judicial investigation. If a decision is made to dismiss the complaint, or if no decision has been taken, the plaintiffs can lodge their complaint directly to an investigating judge.

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NGOs supporting our climate litigation

Action Justice Climat
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice
Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action
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