- Company disregards due diligence on human rights, clings to fossils
- International law concerns: Norway’s largest private asset manager excludes Siemens Energy
- Gas turbines for LNG-Project in conflict area in Mozambique
Ahead of Siemens Energy’s first annual general meeting, environmental and human rights organizations are seeing the company headed in a critical direction. Serious human rights issues and the adherence to coal and gas transactions weigh heavily on the future sustainability of the company. “Previously announced job cuts are the price Siemens Energy is paying for its ignorance in connection with the global energy revolution. The announced coal phase-out is half-hearted and the path beyond fossil energy, which should be adequately respecting international and human rights, is missing“, says Regine Richter, energy campaigner from the environmental and human rights organization Urgewald.
Western Sahara: Storebrand turns its back on Siemens Energy
In early September 2020, Siemens Energy’s Spanish subsidiary Siemens Gamesa, confirmed a new contract for the 300MW wind park Boujdour, which is planned to be built in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara in cooperation with the Moroccan company NAREVA. Contradicting the UN, Siemens Gamesa located the planned wind park „in the South of Morocco“. The fact that Western Sahara represents an autonomous territory over which Morocco has no sovereignty had also been confirmed by the European Court of Justice though. Business activities in Western Sahara therefore require the explicit consent of the Saharawi people, which Siemens Gamesa has not sought. Storebrand, Norway’s largest private asset manager, consequently excluded Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa in January 2021 from its portfolio over international law concerns.
„Also in Western Sahara Siemens Energy seems to have not recognised the signs of the times. Despite years of protest against their energy projects, which stabilise the Moroccan occupying regime, the company intensifies business relations with the energy company owned by the Moroccan king”, comments Tim Sauer from the NGO Western Sahara Ressource Watch, which documents international business activities in occupied Western Sahara. „Should Siemens Energy continue to ignore the warning about heavy legal and moral risks issued by several members of the European Parliament, Storebrand will not be the last investor to exclude Siemens Energy. At least since the entire Western Sahara has been declared a war zone in November 2020, it must be clear that there is no alternative to halt all business activities in the territory.”
Mozambique: Gas turbines for LNG project in conflict region
Siemens Energy’s business activities in Mozambique are similarly questionable with regard to human rights, and are also catastrophic for the climate. The Munich-based company intends to deliver six gas turbines and four centrifugal compressors for an LNG project run by the oil company Total in the Province Cabo Delgado. Exploitation of the region’s enormous fossil gas resources could have the equivalent of 12 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions as a result – approximately seven times France’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2017, Cabo Delgado has been the scene of attacks on the civil population by terror groups linked to the Islamic State (IS). Over 2.000 people have already been killed in this conflict, there are hundreds of thousands refugees. In view of this violent environment, participating international oil companies such as Total, ExxonMobil and Eni, are employing private security firms. The local population is repeatedly caught in the crossfire. In addition, over 500 families have been relocated to make way for the gas projects and have had to abandon farming, as well as making a living from fishing.
Siemens Energy is also continuing its participation in the construction of the new coal-fired power plant Jawa 9 and 10 in Indonesia and intends to fulfill further commitments, including binding offers, in the coal sector. The company will only be declining a participation in new tenders for power plants driven exclusively by coal.
Denis Schimmelpfennig | Media Representative Urgewald
denis[at]urgewald.org +49 2583 5380976
Regine Richter | Energy Campaigner Urgewald
regine[at]urgewald.org +49 170 2930725
Tim Sauer | Western Sahara Resource Watch Germany
germany[at]wsrw.org +49 157 3791 5593