The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Guillaumine Lickel, Greenpeace France communication officer:

Activists take climate action against TotalEnergies’ LNG floating terminal entering Le Havre harbour

LE HAVRE, France

Greenpeace France activists protested against the arrival of TotalEnergies Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) floating terminal, the FSRU Cape Ann. The 280 metres long floating LNG terminal was due to start service by September 15, purportedly to ensure France’s energy security during the war caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the French government.[1]

Hélène Bourges, oil, transport and ocean campaigner at Greenpeace France said: “This LNG terminal is yet another blatant example of ‘shock doctrine,’ where gas operators shifted their public messaging and lobbying from ‘energy transition’ to ‘energy security’ and cynically used the opportunity after the energy supply concerns triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine to frighten governments into massive, unneeded investment into and expansion of fossil gas imports and infrastructure.

“The only beneficiaries of the LNG gas infrastructure in Le Havre are TotalEnergies, the operator of the floating terminal, and its shareholders, whose private interests and gains prevail over climate action and people’s health, with the complicit support of the French government that granted an unprecedented legal preferential regime to set up this operation.”

At sea, Greenpeace activists painted the message “Gas Kills” on the hull of the Cape Ann, while activists on board canoes and kayaks carried banners reading “Total: shale dealer”, “Macron: shale dealer” and “End Fossil Crimes”.

According to investigative reports by Greenpeace France, the gas intended to supply this terminal comes largely from US shale gas, in contradiction with France’s own policy that bans fracking on its territory because the technology is harmful to the climate and has deadly impacts on the health of local populations in sourcing areas (see Impacts of LNG section). In February 2022, French President Macron committed to making France the first major nation to abandon fossil fuels.[2] Yet, the LNG terminal in Le Havre LNG is instead expected to increase imports of liquefied natural gas into France and will notably fuel a logic of increasing the production of shale gas in the United States.

A recent investigation by Disclose and Greenpeace France called into question the usefulness of this LNG terminal for the energy sovereignty of France and its European neighbours and showed that this infrastructure is unneeded, even in the event of a cold winter, contrary to what the French Ministry of Energy Transition claims. An earlier Greenpeace International’s investigation on the influence of the gas lobby in Europe to promote a boom in liquefied natural gas highlighted how decisions on energy infrastructures are strongly influenced by facilities operators, who have a solid interest in making new infrastructures see the light for their own profits.

Extreme weather events across the world remind us of the need to move away from fossil fuels fast. In this context, the installation of a new LNG terminal for five years is clearly not a sustainable option, in particular as additional fossil fuel infrastructure projects are under study, according to the investigation by Greenpeace France and Disclose.

As Greenpeace reports have outlined, Europe needs to act quickly to drastically cut fossil fuels, investing massively in energy efficiency and consumption reduction and developing renewable energies for all. Greenpeace France activity occurred as activists around the globe prepare to take part in the Global End Fossil Fuel Mobilisations, calling on all leaders to end the era of fossil fuels.[3]

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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