TotalEnergies Sues Greenpeace Over Claims that Energy Giant Significantly Understates Carbon Footprint
Energy giant TotalEnergies has sued environmental activist group Greenpeace France and climate consulting group Factor-X over a report by the organizations claiming that the energy company “massively underestimates” its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Alleging that the report’s claims are “false and misleading,” in a civil complaint filed on April 28, TotalEnergies is seeking an order to have the report withdrawn, and for Greenpeace to remove all references of the report on its site or in its communications.
In a response to the lawsuit posted on its website, Greenpeace said that the court action by TotalEnergies is aimed at intimidating “the entire climate movement,” adding:
“This request will not hide the intention of the tactic: to exhaust us with a long and expensive procedure.”
The November 2022 report, “TotalEnergies’ carbon footprint: accounts are not good,” Greenpeace and Factor-X looked to recalculate the GHG emissions of TotalEnergies from 2019. While the energy company reported emissions of 455 million tonnes for the year, the report estimated emissions at nearly 4 times this level at more than 1.6 billion tonnes.
Following the publication of the report, TotalEnergies released a response to the findings, calling the authors’ methodology “at the very least, dubious,” and claiming that the report counted the same emissions several times over through the company’s value chain. TotalEnergies also said that its emissions reporting aligns with industry-specific methodologies in compliance with the GHG Protocol.
In its statement following the filing of the suit, Greenpeace alleged that the timing of the court action was meant to stifle criticism of the company ahead of its May 26 AGM, where the company will likely face pressure from activists and shareholders over its climate strategy.
“If the goal is to discourage us, it is missed . We will not be silent and we will continue to lift the veil on the responsibility of the multinational in the unprecedented climate crisis we are going through.
“We only have one thing to say to TotalEnergies: go to court.”