French Court Dismisses “Duty of Vigilance” Case Seeking to Halt Multibillion-Dollar Oil Pipeline Project

March 24, 2023

On February 28, a French court dismissed an action filed by six French and Ugandan NGOs aiming to force the suspension of TotalEnergies’ multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project in Uganda and Tanzania. The NGOs based their case to suspend the pipeline project on Article L. 225-102-4.-I of the French Commercial Code, the Corporate “Duty of Vigilance Act,” which requires companies to establish a “Vigilance Plan” to “identify and prevent risks of severe violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, health and safety of people and to the environment in their entire sphere of influence.” The planned pipeline would run from Uganda to the Tanzanian coast passing through many acres of farmland and the Murchison Falls National Park, a habitat that is dense with animal life. The peak production is estimated at 230,000 barrels per day, which, if realized, would make Uganda the seventh-largest oil producer on the continent.

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