There’s no letting up with the pressure on oil giant Total as thousands of us joined in with another social media storm and bombarded their shareholders with emails at the end of April.

And last week, ahead of Total’s annual general meeting, the pressure reached boiling point as our team in France organised a mock trial for Total. Together with various civil society groups and activists from Uganda,Tanzania, Mozambique, Ukraine and Poland, the tribunal highlighted the global destruction of Total and their financiers. The verdict by the large crowd was crystal clear: “GUILTY” – of environmental and human rights violations, serious damage to biodiversity, and interference in the politics of sovereign states.

Total Tribunal

We’re continuing to chip away at the financial flows supporting Total’s fossil fuel projects such as the massive crude oil pipeline in East Africa (EACOP). Which brings us to Germany, where we’ve been ramping up the pressure on Deutsche Bank who were refusing to confirm whether or not they’d finance the EACOP pipeline.

Following months of campaigning with several other groups and amazing volunteers who coordinated creative action across Germany including a huge video projected on the bank’s HQ – and after many of us signed and shared petitions and took part in social media storms – an anonymous source from the bank told a major news outlet that they will not be funding the pipeline!

This is a huge step forward by the bank, although they have yet to confirm it officially. And while it’s a good thing that they wont be directly involved in this destructive project, they still fund Total and other oil and gas companies. Deutsche Bank needs to stop funding all fossil fuels, everywhere. Full stop. Our team in Germany are making new exciting plans so watch this space!

German Actions

The announcement by Deutsche Bank marks further progress in our fight against EACOP. As part of the #StopEACOP coalition, we’re celebrating more banks distancing themselves from the pipeline this month including Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. This takes the total number of banks to twenty – including 7 of Total’s 10 largest lenders!! Thanks to public pressure, eight key insurance companies have also refused to touch EACOP [1].

Things are heating up in the UK as the government is expected to sign off on Shell’s Jackdaw gas field in the North Sea. We launched a petition together with partners calling on the Prime Minister to reject Shell’s application and stop all new oil & gas projects [2].

We’ve also been working with a coalition pushing for a windfall tax on the enormous excess profits that companies like Shell and BP are making from rising energy prices. The money raised could help support people struggling with the cost of living crisis and pay for well-insulated homes, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels in the long run [3].

Last week, the government finally caved under public pressure and introduced the windfall tax but it’s far from being good enough as it contains huge loopholes for the oil and gas industry and many families will still have to choose between heating and eating this winter. So we’ll continue to push for a faster transition towards affordable, sustainable energy that everyone can access.

German Actions

In the Netherlands, our sister group Fossielvrij NL are going up against the country’s biggest bank (ING) and the largest airline (KLM) at the same time like David and two Goliaths! They were just in Paris at the Air France-KLM headquarters, issuing a legal warning and have launched an urgent petition to support the case [4].

As you can see, we’ve had a very busy month and there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. We’re a tiny team at 350 Europe with huge goals and there’s so much more we hope to achieve this year in order to end the fossil fuel era for good.

Your support is greatly appreciated and any donation you can afford makes a difference!

Read More:

[1] Seven financiers abandon TotalEnergies’ EACOP pipeline in a wee (Bank Track)

[2] Stop Jackdaw petition

[3] Interview with 350 UK team lead Tommy Vickerstaff

[4] Petition against KLM’s misleading advertising on sustainability

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