France

Friends of the Earth et al. v. Total

Jurisdiction: France


Side A: Friends of the Earth (Les Amis de la Terre) (Ngo)


Side B: Total (Corporation)


Core objectives:

NGOs sued oil company alleging inadequate environmental assessment of proposed oil project.


Summary
 Six nongovernmental organizations have sued energy company Total over an oil project in Uganda and Tanzania. The plaintiffs allege that Total failed to adequately assess the project's threats to human rights and the environment. 

Under France's Duty of Vigilance Law, French companies must identify and prevent risks to human rights and the environment that could occur as a result of their business practices. In June 2019, Friends of the Earth France, Survie, AFIEGO, CRED, NAPE/Friends of the Earth Uganda and NAVODA sent Total a formal demand to revise its vigilance plan for the Tilenga Project, along with a report detailing alleged inadequacies in the vigilance plan. According to Friends of the Earth, the Tilenga Project includes plans to drill over 400 wells, extracting around 200,000 barrels of oil per day, and to construct a pipeline to transport the oil to Tanzania. 

Although the claimants' report focuses on human rights and conventional pollution, it also argues that Total's vigilance plan does not properly account for the project's potential life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. According to Friends of the Earth, after Total rejected the allegations following a three month deadline, the complainants filed a proceeding with an "urgent applications" judge, who will hold a hearing on January 8, 2020. 
Case documents