Total Energies has issued a statement clarifying that NGOs involved in the proceedings refused the mediation proposed by the court. The multi-energy company revealed it had earlier accpeted the mediation.
After finding this refusal to mediate, the court sent the parties back fororal arguments on 7 December 2022. As a reminder, in October 2019, some NGOs sued Total Energies SE before the Nanterre Judicial Court on the basis of the law on the duty of vigilance accusing it of the insufficient identification and treatment of the societal and environmental impacts of the Tilenga and EACOP projects in Uganda and Tanzania.
As a reminder, since 2017, the law on the duty of vigilance has required companies of a certain
size to publishin their management report a vigilance plan including reasonable vigilance measures to identify risks and prevent possible serious violations of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, health and health.
Safety of persons and the environment, not only because of the Company’s activities, but also those of its subcontractors and suppliers with whom it has an established commercial relationship.
This mediation entry, promoted by the court and accepted by Total Energies, could have been an opportunity to open a constructive dialogue with the NGOs that initiated the proceedings before the court, like the one that Total Energies’ subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania have maintained since the beginning of the projects with the majority of local associations.
Total Energies regrets this refusal of the NGOs involved in the proceedings and now intends to remind the Paris Judicial Court that its vigilance plan is effectively implemented and that it has ensured that its subsidiaries in Uganda and Tanzania has successfully implemented the appropriate action plans to respect the rights of local communities and ensure respect for
biodiversity, within the framework of projects of national interest decided by the Ugandan and
As such, the relevant subsidiaries of Total Energies have mandated third-party experts who have made it possible to establish a follow-up of the situations of the people concerned by the project, of which here are some lessons:
Follow-up of the payment of compensations:
- Regarding the Tilenga project in Uganda, 4929 households are concerned:
- 92% of the offsetting agreements have been signed,
- 88% of the compensation was paid.
- Regarding the EACOP project in Uganda, 3648 households are concerned:
- 74% of the compensation agreements have been signed.
- Nearly 60% of people received their compensation.
- Regarding the EACOP project in Tanzania, where the process started later, 9510 households are concerned:
- 67% signed the compensation agreement,
- 15% have been paid to date.
Where payments have not been made, the members of the households concerned naturally have access to their homes and the land which they own or cultivate and which they can enjoy.
Follow-up of households whose main residence is affected:
- For the two projects, 723 households will be relocated, or about 5,000 people.
- All the households concerned continue to live on their land and cultivate it until they receive all their compensation, after which they will be relocated.
Monitoring of the societal measures implemented:
- The compensation agreements are complemented by measures to promote employment, education and respect for women’s rights.
- As with other aspects of the project, TotalEnergies strictly adheres to local regulations and international standards (IFCs).
Monitoring of outbreaks in the field:
- A follow-up over at least three years of the persons affected by the projects shallbe carried out. Of the people affected by the Tilenga project who received their compensation in cash, the annual survey conducted by a third-party organization shows that:
- 70% of respondents said their lives had improved since the compensation, while28% said it had remained the same.
Monitoring the preservation of biodiversity:
- As part of these two projects and in line with its commitments to biodiversity, Total Energies SE is committed to implementing action plans toproduce a net positive impact on biodiversity.
- For example, for the Tilenga project :
- Minimization of the footprint of facilities that will occupy less than 0.03% of the surface of Murchison Falls National Park
- 1000 hectares of forest will be restored to allow the movement of chimpanzees,
- 10,000 hectares of forest are preserved,
- A program to increase the lion and elephant population in Murchison Falls Park by 25% is being developed, on a project to reintroduce iconic species such as the black rhino is also under development.