Paris, France – The Paris Judicial Court just dismissed TotalEnergies’ summons against Greenpeace France. As the oil and gas major celebrates its 100th anniversary today, the court sided with Greenpeace France, deeming the summons too vague to allow the NGO to effectively defend itself on the merits. TotalEnergies’ summons followed the publication of the report ‘TotalEnergies Carbon Footprint: The Numbers Don’t Add Up‘, in which Greenpeace France revealed an estimated calculation of the multinational’s greenhouse gas emissions.[1] 

TotalEnergies’ attempt at silencing Greenpeace France is part of a worrying trend of increasing attempts at judicial intimidation against civil society. In the context of a climate emergency, this decision confirms that NGOs and civil society can – and will continue to – challenge the actions of major contributors to the climate crisis: this is a major setback for oil and gas giants. Ongoing cases include Shell v Greenpeace UK and Greenpeace International, and ENI v Greenpeace Italy, in which the first phase of mediation between the Italian oil and gas company and the environmental organisation took place this morning. Reactions from Greenpeace offices:

Clara Gonzales, legal expert at Greenpeace France, said: “This is a significant victory for freedom of speech, not only for Greenpeace France but also for all civil society and the research community, which must be able to question the extent of the climate impact of TotalEnergies and polluting companies. On the day of the multinational’s 100th anniversary, widely contested by the climate movement for its destructive activities, justice confirms that the law protects our fundamental freedoms against attempts at intimidation by economic powers.”

Philip Evans, Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “This important victory should be a wake-up call to other oil giants like Shell who are also using vindictive lawsuits to try and silence anyone who tries to hold them to account. These cynical attempts to intimidate climate campaigners are not just a grave threat to freedom of expression, they demonstrate the depths that these companies will stoop to continue destroying the planet for profit.

“Both Shell and Total are planning massive new oil and gas projects that will accelerate the climate chaos already wrecking millions of lives. With world leaders dragging their feet, Greenpeace organisations will keep campaigning until the industry stops drilling and starts paying for the climate damage they are causing around the world.”



[1] According to the report, these would have been almost four times higher than those declared by TotalEnergies for 2019, i.e. almost 1.6 billion tonnes compared to 455 million tonnes of CO2e. TotalEnergies asked the civil court to order Greenpeace France to delete the report and all related publications, subject to a fine of 2,000 euros per day. It also requested that Greenpeace France be ordered to pay a “symbolic” 1 euro in damages, and 50,000 euros in legal costs. The judgement can be shared on request.


Greenpeace France: Guillaumine Lickel, [email protected], +33 6 73 89 48 90

Greenpeace Italy: Felice Moramarco, [email protected], +39 3487630682

Greenpeace UK: Joe Evans, [email protected], +44 7890 595387

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]

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