“It is up to the French government to ensure that TotalEnergies does not weaken Europe geopolitically”

TotalEnergies is holding its annual general meeting of shareholders on Friday, May 24. Among the resolutions is a vote to reduce the powers of Patrick Pouyanné, both CEO of the company and its president, by separating these two functions. This resolution, intended to accelerate the transition to non-fossil energies, reflects shareholders’ concerns regarding the energies in which the company invests. Absent from the debate, however: where does the company invest?

A characteristic of Total, under Mr. Pouyanné, is that the company invests in countries at war. Asked about these investments, and their implications on human rights, Mr. Pouyanné systematically answers: as long as they are legal, Total will continue.

For example, he said: “As long as there are no sanctions, we will continue to ship LNG [gaz naturel liquéfié] of Russia ». Regarding Total’s investments in Azerbaijan, he also declared to the Senate : “Don’t ask us to preach morals in place of public authorities. If the European Union and the United Nations decide on sanctions against Azerbaijan, we will apply them. »

Europe is doubly wrong

It is indeed up to governments to set an energy policy; The last two years have shown us the dangers of short-termism which compromises European energy security in the long term. Large Western companies like Total, through their technological and financial investments over decades, have given Russia its status as a fossil fuel giant, helping to create the conditions for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Also read the article: Article reserved for our subscribers “We, scientists and experts, call on TotalEnergies shareholders to vote against the firm’s climate strategy”

And today, ignoring the lessons of the past two years, the European Union (EU) has committed to doubling its gas imports from Azerbaijan by 2027, a deal that brought Baku 15.6 billion euros in 2022 alone. With the blessing of the EU, Total is financing another authoritarian regime through its investments. By increasing its dependence on another authoritarian government that systematically violates human rights and international norms, Europe is financing and providing legitimacy to the dictatorial regime of President Ilham Aliyev, thereby encouraging further military incursions into Armenia.

Europe is doubly wrong when it tries to replace Russian gas with Azeri gas. The Caspian oil state is responding to European demand by increasing its own imports of Russian gas, financing the Kremlin in the process.

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