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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Total’s high Q2 profit: Activists want flow of money to fossil fuel majors halted

Apparently overwhelmed by the staggering second quarter profits of $5.7 billion announced on Thursday, July 28, 2022 by oil giant Total to shareholders, some activists have underscored the need to stop the flow of money to fossil fuel companies.

East Africa crude oil pipeline
Total is participating in the controversial East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), in partnership with Tullow Oil and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC)

This follows last week’s revelation that the vast wealth captured by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52 trillion or $2.8 billion per day, providing the power to “buy every politician, every system” and delay action on the climate crisis, according to the author of the analysis.

The oil giant is accused of being responsible for some of the most destructive fossil fuel projects on the planet, including the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline and fracking across Vaca Muerta, Argentina.

This announcement, says environmental watchdog 350.org, shines a spotlight on the moral bankruptcy and danger posed by oil majors, adding: “These corporations are ruthlessly profiteering off war in Ukraine, at a time when tens of millions of people are currently suffering from the combined impacts of the climate crisis and the cost of living scandal.

“Despite European governments calling for an end to fossil fuel expansion in the global South and the International Energy Agency demanding an end to new fossil fuel investments, Total is currently leading a dash for gas in Africa, recently securing billion dollar deals in Algeria and South Africa to extract and burn more fossil fuels from the continent. Total’s planned operations will be devastating for people and the planet – their actions will benefit a handful of wealthy shareholders at huge cost to local communities and the climate.”

Charity Migwi, Africa Regional Campaigner, 350.org, said: “As Total declares massive profits, people in Africa are fighting for their homes and lives following displacement by the oil major, as it seeks expansion of its fossil fuel projects. What’s even worse is the struggle for most Africans to turn the tide against climate change which has severely impacted their lives and livelihoods.

“Meanwhile, Total makes vague promises of job creation in the oil and gas sector while it causes significant job losses in the agricultural and tourism sector. Total’s business has no place in Africa; the future the world needs is one that no longer burns fossil fuels.”

Omar Elmawi, Coordinator of Stop EACOP, said: “It is appalling that Total Energies continues to rake in obscene profits at the expense of people and the planet, more so in Africa, the continent most vulnerable to climate change. One of the firm’s biggest projects in Africa, the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and associated oil fields is facing sustained resistance locally and globally due to the threat it poses to communities and their livelihoods as well as expected negative impacts on the environment and sensitive ecosystems in Uganda and Tanzania.

“We can stop EACOP and the wave of destruction it is set to leave in its wake, if we stop the flow of finance to Total. We call on financial institutions not to support Total in this damaging project.”

Baraka Lenga, Climate Change and Livelihoods Expert and GreenFaith Tanzania Representative, said: “As communities in Africa, and in this case, one of EACOP’s project affected people, it’s very frustrating to witness companies like Total making huge profits for their shareholders while leaving our nations reeling from the impacts of their operations. Their involvement in Africa is not in the interest of development. Instead, it’s leading to destruction and untold suffering to our people and nations.”

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