French NGOs Threaten Court Action Unless TotalEnergies Leaves Russia

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth say TotalEnergies is violating 2017 law.

Benjamin Mallet and Simon Jessop, Reuters

PARIS—Two leading French NGOs plan to take legal action against TotalEnergies over possible human rights abuses unless it cuts its business ties with Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, they said in a letter to the energy major’s CEO.

Greenpeace France and Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) France, in a registered letter to CEO Patrick Pouyanne, said the company must comply with a 2017 French law requiring multinationals to be vigilant about violations of human rights associated with their commercial activities in countries affected by armed conflict.

As a French legal entity, TotalEnergies  and its directors may be held criminally liable for any offence under the French criminal code, particularly complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity, the letter said.

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