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French oil giant Total faces climate challenge in court

French oil giant Total faces climate challenge in court
Environmental and governmental groups press for cut in emissions by oil and gas conglomerate

By Cindi Cook

PARIS (AA) - In the first case of its kind against a private company in French court, oil and gas conglomerate Total is being taken to court by a group of NGOs and 14 French authorities seeking for the company to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

A court summons is being made today in Nanterre, a suburb just west of Paris.

The grievances rest on the company falling short of goals in the 2016 Paris climate accord on limiting the amount of emissions, as well as over Total's lack of specification over a French law saying that companies must prevent human rights violations and environmental damage as a result of company conduct.

The bodies bringing legal action involve NGOs such as Sherpa, which seeks to limit large-scale environmental violations, as well as towns such as Sevran, north of Paris, and Bayonne, in the Basque country region in southwestern France.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne has professed that the company is on track, and met just last year with the groups bringing the suit.

In a statement on the Total website, he stated: "The challenge for an oil and gas company is to be able to provide for all mankind an affordable, reliable, and clean energy. The second challenge which will shape the future of energy is climate change.”

He added: "We will still be, in 35 years, a major oil and gas company, but we also hope to be able to develop the company in these new energies."

In March, Total is set to issue a statement on the company's record on and actions to curb emissions.

source: News Feed
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