TotalEnergies and Government will oppose eco-justice NGOS

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The Green Connection Natural Justice Court Application

The Green Connection and Natural Justice are ready for court, now that they have received notification that the Minister and the Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE), along with TotalEnergies EP South Africa (TEEPSA) will oppose their joint legal challenge against the decision to grant environmental authorisation for exploratory drilling in block 5/6/7, located off the coast between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas.

The Green Connection’s Strategic Lead Liziwe McDaid says, “The Green Connection believes in good governance and for that reason we believe that it would be unfair to the ocean and those that depend on it if TEEPSA 5/6/7 was to continue. We believe that the process has been flawed and we are therefore in court. With the news that all the respondents intend to oppose us in court, we remain steadfast in ensuring that good governance prevails and that we also do not take and end up with those activities that will hinder South Africa’s efforts to combat climate change.”

Defending Rights Programme Manager at Natural Justice Melissa Groenink-Groves says, “We cannot stand idly by, as government and policy makers disempower the people and communities who stand to be directly impacted by potential negative ecological consequences of the proposed exploratory drilling. Our objective remains the conservation and protection of our coastal resources, safeguarding of the livelihoods of coastal communities and the promotion of meaningful public participation.”

The Green Connection’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Neville van Rooy says, “The Green Connection believes in responsible governance, which should include protecting the ocean, for this and future generations. This is why we approached the court, because it is our right to live with a clean, healthy ocean and we do not agree that a French oil company should be allowed to come here to plunder and destroy our ocean for oil and gas, which could also devastate the livelihoods of the small-scale fishers who depend on it. We are also concerned, with the ongoing onslaught of offshore oil and gas proposals, that our government does not seem to be taking its commitment to the Paris Agreement very seriously.”

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