Climate change protesters block access to French multinationals


PARIS (Reuters) – Climate activists have prevented hundreds of workers from entering French company Societe Generale's headquarters, state-owned concessionaire EDF and oil giant Total on Friday, environmental group Greenpeace said.

Environmental activists block the entry of the Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development during a "civil disobedience action" to urge world leaders to take action against climate change in La Defense, near Paris, France, April 19, 2019. The slogan says "Macron President of the polluters". REUTERS / Benoit Tessier

Greenpeace has said it is protesting against oil and gas companies, which the group says is a driving force in global warming.

They put giant posters of President Emmanuel Macron with the slogan "Macron, president of the polluters" and a banner that read "Climate Crime Scene" on the glass facade of Societe Generale, Reuters Reuters images showed.

Police sprayed a group that blocked the main entrance of the bank in a protest.

Some demonstrators tied themselves together while others were cuffed with metal ties on metal poles to make it more difficult for the police to dislodge them.

Employees in business suits circled outside their offices. "I just want to get in and get on with my job," said a frustrated bank clerk.

A Societe Generale spokeswoman declined to comment. An EDF spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comments.

The protest came as Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne, the chief executive of Angola's state oil company Sonangol, and the president of the Libyan National Petroleum Corporation were due to attend an annual oil summit in Paris.

Greenpeace and the Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) action group previously criticized Societe Generale for its financial role in oil and gas projects, in particular the Rio Grande LNG gas project in the United States.

Friday's protests echoed a series from the Rebellion Extinction group of climate change activists in London this week that caused transport congestion in the British capital.

Teen protesters made an emotional protest, crying and singing in the absence of political action on climate change near Heathrow airport in London on Friday.

Report of Antony Paone and Inti Landauro; Written by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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