Environmental NGOs launched, Monday, October 17 in Paris, a campaign against a major gas project of TotalEnergies planned according to them in an area of dangerous currents off the coast of South Africa and which would threaten a rich marine fauna as well as the artisanal fishery. . “TotalEnergies is preparing to invest 3 billion dollars to launch drilling operations in South African deep waters, to the detriment of small-scale fishermen and spectacular biodiversity”say the Bloom association (for the protection of the oceans) and the South African NGO The Green Connection in a press release.
The two NGOs on Monday launched an international petition against this project after TotalEnergies filed, on September 5, a “application for a production license to exploit two large gas fields that can contain up to one billion barrels of oil equivalent” in the Brulpadda exploration area, 175 km from the coast. The South African authorities, who rely on gas to get out of their dependence on coal, must decide on obtaining this license after a public inquiry scheduled until January 20, according to the associations.
“These are very deep drillings, more than 1,000 meters below the surface, in an area of strong currents: they know that these are complicated waters, with a risk of an oil spill”assured Swann Bommier, of Bloom, during a press conference in Paris. “Total is the first to go to this depth. If they get this permit, it will be a huge signal for the whole industry” on the possibility of launching drilling in still virgin waters, he added.
Sperm whales and leatherback turtles
“It is a spectacular place from the point of view of biodiversity, which is on the migration route of whales and sperm whales” and or “there are also dolphins, leatherback turtles, seals”defended Claire Nouvian, the president of Bloom. “Gas is not a transition energy, we must say stop to greenwashing”declared the ecologist MEP Karima Delli, who came to support the NGOs with the MEP Raphaël Glucksmann and the deputy François Ruffin (La France insoumise).
“We, the artisanal fishers of this country, fear that this livelihood will be taken away from usdenounced one of them in a video broadcast during the conference. We say to our government: Stop promoting oil and gas exploration in our oceans. »
Pressure from environmental NGOs is increasing against various TotalEnergies projects, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) has come out in 2021 for an immediate halt to all new investment in fossil fuels in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. A megaproject of the French group in Uganda and Tanzania has been attacked by NGOs since 2019 before the French courts.
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