By Dana Drugmand
Updated, Jan. 30—The French petroleum company Total is facing a new climate lawsuit by several environmental groups and 14 local governments seeking to force the company to reduce emissions to protect French citizens.
The groups served an official court summons on Total on Tuesday in a court near Paris. The lawsuit comes after the groups and communities warned Total last year they were prepared to sue to force the company to comply with a French law requiring companies to identify risks and prevent violations to human rights and the environment.
That Law on the Duty of Vigilance, adopted in March 2017, obligates companies to produce a plan explaining how their operations prevent human rights and environmental abuses. Total’s first vigilance plan failed to include any reference to climate change, which led the French groups to write to Total’s chief executive in October 2018 demanding the company fix its plan, or face legal action.