French Court Rejects Case Seeking Halt to TotalEnergies' New Oil and Gas Projects

©Credit: Igor Kardasov/AdobeStock
©Credit: Igor Kardasov/AdobeStock /AdobeStock

A French court on Thursday declined to consider a case brought by a coalition of environmental groups and local authorities which was seeking an immediate halt to new oil and gas projects by TotalEnergies.

The coalition launched legal action against the energy major in 2020 seeking to compel it to amend its development plans to curb carbon emissions in line with the targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement on combating climate change.

The groups had asked the court to impose a temporary pause on TotalEnergies' new oil and gas projects pending a full trial on the substantive issues they were raising.    

They argued TotalEnergies' stated commitments towards reducing its carbon emissions were insufficient for it to comply with the agreement. They cited a French law on the "duty of vigilance" towards violations of rights as the basis for their court action.

The court declined to consider either the request for a temporary pause or the substantive arguments, deeming them legally inadmissible.

In a landmark ruling in 2021, a Dutch court ordered Shell SHEL.L to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels. Shell has appealed against the ruling.

(Reuters - Reporting by Benjamin Mallet - Writing by Estelle Shirbon  Editing by Charlotte Van Campenhout and Mark Potter)

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