TotalEnergies commits disastrous environmental crime in Yemen: Probe
A French investigator commissioned by Green Peace concludes that French TotalEnergies is responsible for the disastrous pollution in Yemen since 2015.
Yemen National Information Center and Saba Agency news outlet revealed in a detailed report titled "French TotalEnergies wastes dropped in Yemen" the company's violations against the Yemeni people and their land.
The Center stated that the French company is one of the largest investors in the oil and gas sector in Yemen and extends its full control over the gas sector, adding that seven international companies are under its management in the Arab country.
According to the report, TotalEnergies began its work in competition with US companies and "was able to impose a total monopoly on Yemeni gas."
The energy firm "destroyed agricultural lands, poisoned groundwater, killed livestock, spread dangerous and novel diseases among people, and turned the lives of Yemenis in their areas of existence into an unbearable hell," it continued.
Read more: France implicated in war crimes against Yemen: Investigation
The report also indicated that the French company "was not satisfied with that, but rather made its facilities political detention centers for the UAE."
Many local and international voices denouncing the crimes of this "oil piracy in the last decade" have recently emerged, the Center said, adding that scientific research and studies investigating the company's illegal practices, which are causing widespread pollution and heralding disasters that the Yemenis will experience for decades to come, are increasingly surfacing.
Read more: France, UAE; culprits in war crimes in Yemen
TotalEnergies' environmental crime in Yemen
A recent investigation led by French writer Quentin Mueller for Greenpeace and published by French L'Obs newspaper last month concluded that Total has been responsible for catastrophic pollution in Yemen through its illegal operations since 2015 and substandard practices.
Titled "Total's Black Water in Yemen," the author discussed the widespread pollution in Shabwa Governorate and the other areas in which the company operates, such as Hadhramout and Marib, with the complicity of the regime of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The investigation also revealed that the Paris-based company buried millions of liters of toxic water, caused massive oil spills, and contaminated the country's largest groundwater.
Mueller also described what is happening there as death that spreads to land, animals, and people, as a result of the leakage of chemicals, not to mention water and air pollution.
He said these actions led to a significant increase in cancer rates in the region, the disappearance of bees and birds, and the pollution and desertification of agricultural land, which once yielded a large variety of agriproducts.
He called what happened one of the worst environmental scandals in the history of Yemen.
Read more: Assisted 'genocide': How allied weapons embolden Saudi crimes in Yemen
The record profit of @TotalEnergies is killing people in the Global South. @MllerQuentin investigated the criminal damages of the company in Yemen, reporting billion of litres of toxic waste that contaminated Yemen’s water table. 🧵 @totalvictims (1/5) pic.twitter.com/u0jWiAuKvt— Scientist Rebellion (@ScientistRebel1) April 29, 2023
Lawsuit against Total
In February, Geneva-based legal advocacy NGO MENA Rights Group filed a lawsuit against TotalEngergies, accusing it of human rights abuses at the Balhaf energy plant, which is supervised by UAE forces.
The organization said on its website that it is seeking to sue the French oil and gas company before the Court of Justice in Paris for its failure to comply with due diligence obligations, in relation to human rights violations committed at the Balhaf gas liquefaction plant in Yemen.
It also indicated that it is seeking, through the lawsuit, to obtain compensation for two survivors of torture conducted within the facility, demanding the prevention of the recurrence of violations.
The legal support organization demanded that TotalEnergies comply with French law, which requires large companies to carry out due diligence to identify risks and prevent human rights violations while providing civil liability and compensation mechanisms.
شركة توتال الفرنسية تواجه إجراءات قانونية لارتكاب القوات الإماراتية انتهاكات في حقوق الإنسان في مجمع الغاز اليمني في بلحاف | منّا لحقوق الإنسان https://t.co/kwRwzMksua— ياسين التميمي YASEEN AL-TAMIMI (@yaseentamimi68) February 25, 2023
In November 2019, a member of the French Parliament, Clementine Autain, spoke about the transformation of the gas facility into a prison for the UAE forces in Shabwa Governorate, southeastern Yemen.