A French court on Tuesday dismissed a case against energy giant TotalEnergies for a massive oil project in Uganda and Tanzania after several NGOs filed a suit to suspend the controversial project.
The dismissed case had been brought by six French and Ugandan activist groups which accuse the French company of not doing all it could to protect people and the environment in the two projects, the Tilenga oil development and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
The six NGOs argued the development of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) failed to adhere to a “duty of vigilance”, which compels companies to avoid grave harm to human rights, health, safety and the environment.
The groups’ petition was based on a 2017 French law that makes big companies liable for risks to the environment and human rights.
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But the court dismissed the request, saying that only a judge examining the case more in depth could assess whether the accusations against TotalEnergies were founded and to then proceed to an audit of operations on the ground.
TotalEnergies and the plaintiff organisations had no immediate comment.