Mr. Patrick Pouyanné, CEO and Board Chair of TotalEnergies,
Where will you stop?
The planet is burning. The IPCC climate scientists are warning us of the future of suffering that is awaiting us if we do not drastically reduce our CO2 emissions. The International Energy Agency declares that no new fossil fuel extraction projects should be built. The UN Secretary-General denounces the « moral and economic madness » of investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure.
Yet you are set to ravage Uganda, Tanzania and other African countries. You destroy the boreal forests of Canada. You frack rocks and trash Argentina. You support antidemocratic petro-regimes. You violate human rights.
And now, you are taking on the ocean and its incredible biodiversity.
On 5 September 2022, you applied for a production license to exploit two huge gas fields buried more than 1,000 meters deep off the coast of South Africa, in an area with exceptionally rich and diverse marine life.
In defiance of the climate emergency, TotalEnergies is preparing to invest a minimum of three billion dollars to launch drilling operations in South African waters and extract one billion barrels of oil and gas.
Three billion dollars that will accelerate the climate catastrophe and jeopardize our future.
Three billion dollars that will devastate South Africa’s unique marine ecosystems and animals.
Three billion dollars that will threaten the food security of local people and the livelihoods of South African small-scale fishers.
Mr. Pouyanné, abandon all new projects that will accelerate climate change and the collapse of biodiversity. Now.
South African waters are home to an exceptional biodiversity and form a « blue corridor » for many species: whales migrate there by the thousands. Endangered leatherback turtles, the world’s largest sea turtles, lay their eggs on South African beaches. Seals, penguins, albatrosses, petrels, cormorants, and Cape Gannets: you will destroy this entire ecosystem, and with it, a local economy and the livelihoods of thousands of small-scale fishers.
We, citizens of all ages and nations, ask you to listen to climate and biodiversity experts and to stop setting off another climate bomb in South Africa.
Mr Pouyanné, if you persist in your morbid obsession with record profits, if you persist in your anti-ecological blindness, we will organize citizen resistance to prevent you from derailing the climate, trashing nature, destroying our future, and sacrificing youth.
To destroy the ocean is to condemn us all.
We will not let you do so.