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November 30, 2022

350.org reacts as Emmanuel Macron invites lead oil executive on state visit to USA

Paris, France – Today, French President Emmanuel Macron began his three-day state visit to the USA, hosted by US President Joe Biden, but invited Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, along for the diplomatic trip. Pouyanné joins the French delegation to take part in vital discussions on the energy and climate transition raising concerns about conflict of interest.

Clémence Dubois, head of campaigns in France for 350.org said:  

“Why is one of the world’s biggest polluters stowing away in the diplomatic bags of Emmanuel Macron, a President claiming to be a climate champion? 

In the face of accelerating disasters, Emmanuel Macron has just crossed a new red line by going to the United States hand in hand with Patrick Pouyanné. This is a real disavowal for all those who are fighting for a safer, fairer future and liveable climate. The fossil fuel industry has had a negative influence on our health, our democracies and our economies for decades. But Total and its oil industry peers are still the biggest obstacles to necessary climate action in France and around the world. 

While the International Energy Agency keeps reminding us that we cannot invest in fossil fuels, Pouyanné and Total have one agenda: to exploit new fossil resources. Instead of heavily investing in renewable energies, as Total claims, 90% of its investments are still directed towards fossil fuels. The oil and gas major even expects that fossil fuels will still account for more than 80% of its investments in 2030 – this is a declaration of war against humanity. 

In France, Total is being prosecuted for failing to meet its obligations on climate under the Duty of Care Act and for the serious human rights, health and environmental abuses surrounding its highly contested mega-pipeline project in East Africa.  

The sustainable option, for peace, thriving communities and for a safe climate, is to accelerate the community-led transition to renewable energy supplies that would bring energy security and stability for all. To achieve this, our leaders must finally stop companies like Exxon, Total, Shell and BP undermining this energy transition by shaping government policies to exploit more coal, oil and gas around the world.”

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Note to editors:

Available for interview: Clémence Dubois, France manager for 350.org, [email protected], +33642713175 

Contacts

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Jo Kuper 
Interim Global Communications Director
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Nathália Clark
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Thanu Yakupitiyage
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Melanie Smith
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