What’s the link between the fight to preserve the livelihoods of communities in Tanzania and Uganda, the energy crisis that has European families worried about being able to afford to heat their homes this winter, and one of the world’s dirtiest crude oil projects?
It’s Total, the French oil giant, who earlier today published record profits – again. In the past quarter, Total made $9.9 billion – 43% more than the same period last year. The business of digging, burning and destroying our climate keeps paying off.
Total speaks of supporting “sustainable energy” in Europe, and shows a green face to their shareholders and clients. At the same time, they’re developing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) – a heated oil pipeline project which will devastate Africa’s priceless wild nature, and destroy the lives and livelihoods of millions of people – not to mention the damage to the climate and our futures.
Just last month, the European Parliament condemned this destructive mega-pipeline in the heart of Africa for “violating human rights of the local communities”.
As part of the Global Week of Action Against EACOP, from Paris to Kampala, from London to Dodoma, and all around the world: we’re taking to Google to do what we can to damage Total’s reputation, and call them out on their greed and hypocrisy.
Between the vibrant and brave local resistance, the African climate movement’s leadership in this crucial fight, and global solidarity, we can put real pressure on banks, insurers and governments who are backing EACOP. All of this starts with their refusal to deal with Total.
A small action like leaving a pointed, hard-hitting review of the oil giant’s actions on Google, Yelp or another platform, repeated by thousands of people across the world, can have a large impact on how search engines present Total’s website to the public, the words they associate with Total, and Total’s online reputation.
How does this work?
Search engines like Google use corporate websites, Wikipedia pages, and — you guessed it — customer reviews on third party websites to generate results when you search the name of the company. For example: ever looked up a question on Google and expanded a drop-down link to read the answer right there in your search results? That’s Google finding information that matches your question, deciding it’s trustworthy by comparing it to other sources for the same information, and presenting it to you for easy consumption.
So if we feed Google enough information on vetted third party websites (along with a few other tricks up our sleeve), we can start to convince the search engine that Total isn’t the expert on how their destructive projects impact the world — we are.
Here’s what you can do to get involved – it’s only two simple steps:
- Copy the template review text below. You can choose to leave a 1 star, or a 5 star review – positive ratings will rank higher, and are more likely to be seen by others looking Total up locally.
TotalEnergies is a supermajor oil company that covers the entire oil and gas chain and is responsible for serious human rights and environmental abuses, especially in regards to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Total faces opposition from African and international civil society and environmental justice groups for this destructive project and their greenwashing practices.
- Open this Google Maps link and find the nearest Total Energies corporate office or service station in your area. Nothing comes up? Here’s a direct link to Total’s office in Uganda (or, if you prefer, you can also try finding Total on Yelp, Bing or Facebook).
Then repeat as many times, for as many Total Energies locations, as you can.
Total’s EACOP is quickly becoming a symbol of everything that is wrong with our broken energy system. Hopefully, we can also make it into a symbol of solidarity between people, and resistance, and hope for a better future for all.
Where there’s a common problem, there’s a common solution, too. A rapid, just energy transition, which would ensure renewable energy access for all: the communities in Uganda and Tanzania, already on the frontline of the climate crisis, and the families across Europe struggling to afford to heat their homes.
Join today’s action to call out Total’s hypocrisy and greed, and help influence their reputation online to make them toxic to their shareholders and funders.