Climate protesters, police clash at TotalEnergies

STORY: Several hundred climate activists swarmed outside oil major TotalEnergies' annual general meeting in Paris on Friday (May 26), leading French riot police to use pepper spray against the protesters, who sought to block shareholder access to the building.

Outside the venue, demonstrators sat across access roads, locking arms and legs to form a human barricade.

Police escorted shareholders through the protesters and all those attending the meeting were required to place phones in sealed satchels for its duration.

Investors are expected to vote on a climate resolution proposed by activist shareholders, which calls for the company to commit to steeper absolute emissions cuts by 2030 as opposed to intensity targets that can fall as a company adds renewable assets.

TotalEnergies' board opposes the resolution.

Instead, the French company will urge investors to approve its own internal climate plan, focused on more modest emissions cuts from gases at its directly-owned facilities.

The protests at Total are part of a pattern as climate activists intensify demands for oil companies set tougher targets on greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this week, protesters tried to storm the stage of Shell's shareholder meeting, and some disrupted BP's AGM last month.