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Watch: Oil protesters hosed down by security guards

Police officers detain a climate activist outside the French asset manager Amundi headquarters
Climate activist stormed French asset manager Amundi's Paris headquarters to protest its investment in TotalEnergies - Thibault Camus

Security guards resorted to spraying climate activists with a hose as shareholder meetings of TotalEnergies and one of its major investors descended into chaos.

Greenpeace activists climbed a building close to TotalEnergies’ Paris headquarters on Friday and unveiled a large picture of chief executive Patrick Pouyanne under the heading “Wanted”.

Others stormed the offices of asset manager Amundi in the French capital to protest its investment in the oil and gas giant.

Videos posted on social media show activists inside the Amundi offices, which had been splattered with red paint. Many were wearing white hazmat suits.

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Security guards responded by dousing the protesters with a water hose before attempting to drag some back out on the street.

The chaotic scenes, which came ahead of annual general meetings at both companies, mark the latest in a series of protests by climate groups against ongoing investment in the oil and gas industry.

Total’s shareholders are due to vote this afternoon on whether to approve the company’s progress on its sustainability and climate goals for 2030.

They will also vote to approve the re-election of Mr Pouyanne as chairman and chief executive for another three-year term.

Some investors have argued that the re-election should be opposed in protest against what they view as insufficient progress in the green energy transition.

Environmental activists from Greenpeace display a banner bearing the portrait of TotalEnergies Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Patrick Pouyanne
Protesters unveiled a wanted poster bearing the portrait of TotalEnergies boss Patrick Pouyanne - STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

Total had already put up barriers around its offices in the La Defense financial district of Paris, while staff were told to work from home on Friday.

A spokesman said the company “fully respects the right to protest and freedom of expression”.

Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion protesters targeted Armundi’s headquarters in the south of Paris. The company said they “resorted to violence against property and people”.

Armundi holds a stake of roughly 9.5pc in TotalEnergies, both in direct holdings and indirectly through managing the shares owned by Total employees.

It comes after climate protesters this week stormed Shell’s annual general meeting in London, forcing security to step in to protect board members.

The meeting was delayed as activists chanted “Shell kills” and “Shut down Shell”. Shareholders ultimately rejected a climate resolution tabled by an activist group.