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Mozambique: More than 100 NGOs call on banks to stop supporting giant TotalEnergies gas project

TotalEnergies once again stands out for its activities in Africa. A group of 124 NGOs wrote an open letter to 28 financial institutions on Friday, including European, Japanese and South African banks, calling on them to “pull out” of a French company’s giant gas project north of Mozambique.

“As a significant financial supporter of a project, you bear direct and significant responsibility for its severe consequences,” insists the NGO group, citing a 2020 commitment by 28 financial institutions to provide “a total of US$14.9 billion to the project.” 124 non-governmental organizations, including the League for Human Rights, Oil Change International and Greenpeace France, are calling on them to “stop contributing to human rights violations and the climate crisis.”

French banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, as well as US bank JP Morgan, are among the 28 financial institutions seized. “The humanitarian and security risks and the complexity of operations in such a conflict zone” were underestimated, the organizations remind, adding that they had “direct and fatal consequences.”

The project is suspended

The oil group, then called Total, suspended the project following an attack claimed by the Islamic State group in March 2021 that resulted in casualties – the number of casualties remains unknown – among the local population and among TotalEnergies subcontractors. The French group’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in September 2023 that he hoped to relaunch it before the end of the year.

Just because “security has improved” “does not mean that the region is safe or that civilians feel safe,” the NGOs note. “The absorption of Mozambique LNG is reckless and irresponsible if it involves continuing to operate and fuel such an unstable context,” they say, adding that the project “threatens local ecosystems and the global climate” without benefiting Mozambique or local communities.

“When operating at full capacity, the Mozambique LNG project would produce between 3.3 and 4.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent over its life cycle, which is more than the combined annual greenhouse gas emissions of all 27 European Union countries,” they condemn, asking financial issue. institutions to “assume (their) responsibilities” and respond “by November 30.”

Banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole did not immediately respond to AFP’s message, and American JPMorgan declined to comment.

Source: Le Parisien

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