January 21, 2022

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed the decision by Total Energies to withdraw from Burma.

Total Energies announced the decision today, just a day after it came out in support of gas revenue sanctions in a letter to Human Rights Watch. The Yadana gas field which it operates could have provided half a billion dollars of revenue to the military in the year since the military coup.

“Total Energies went into Burma during military dictatorship, ignoring human rights concerns and helping to arm the Burmese military thanks to an influx of new revenue, so it is very significant that even they are pulling out of Burma today,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The European Union should have sanctioned gas revenue immediately after the coup, but French President Emmanuel Macron blocked EU action.”

Total Energies appears to be giving up its interest without selling to another company. It must publicly commit to not co-operating with the Burmese military to facilitate the entry of a new operator taking over their interest.

“The Yadana gas project is nearing the end of its operational life and Total Energies may have decided the financial gains no longer outweighed the negative reputational impact of funding a military responsible for genocide and a brutal coup”, said Mark Farmaner. “Total Energies has done the right thing but probably not for the right reasons. For years they helped finance human rights violations by the Burmese military. Their legacy in Burma is not a good one.”

Total Energies has faced a huge campaign from people in Burma and internationally to end its financial support for the military dictatorship.

Burma Campaign UK will now be removing Total Energies from its ‘Dirty List’ of international companies helping to finance and arm the Burmese military.

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