NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coast Capital calls on TotalEnergies, a French multinational integrated oil and gas company of which Coast Capital is a shareholder, to immediately discontinue its partnership with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which is directly financing the current military dictatorship’s ongoing acts of crimes against humanity.
Coast Capital is making this significant request to a portfolio company based on the following reasons:
Since Myanmar’s military junta came to power through a coup in February 2021, the State Administrative Council (SAC) has used excessive and lethal force against protestors, and have used military assault weapons, mortars, and grenades against peaceful protestors. Human Rights Watch has reported at least 1,000 deaths (including 75 children, some as young as 5 years old), and believes that many more thousands of activists, journalists, civil servants, and dissidents are being held in jail, an unchallenged violation of their basic legal and human rights.
The military dictators have and continue to commit serious abuses of human rights, as part of a widespread and systematic attack on the population. These documented abuses amount to crimes against humanity. Atrocities documented by Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have included murder, enforced disappearance, torture, rape, severe deprivation of liberty, and other inhumane acts causing great suffering. The junta has undertaken no meaningful investigations or efforts at accountability for these abuses, or for past abuses in which the military was implicated before the coup.
In light of the aforementioned developments, several countries, including Canada, the UK, the European Union member states, as well as the United States have imposed targeted economic sanctions against junta leaders and companies owned or controlled by the Tatmadaw. However, foreign governments have yet to impose sanctions on entities that drive most of the funding for the junta, most notably MOGE.
Coast Capital believes it is clear that TotalEnergies is indirectly helping finance crimes against humanity in Myanmar, and asks that the company play a moral leadership role which it is singularly well-placed to do and cease operations in Myanmar.
Coast Capital believes that Total can meet its own sustainability goals and guidelines only by exerting all available pressure to the military Junta in order to cease the rampant crimes against humanity currently occurring in Myanmar.
“At Coast, we have had the privilege to work with many boards and managers of companies in the natural resources industry in order to dramatically improve governance, as well as improve the social and environmental impacts of the companies’ operations,” said James Rasteh, Coast Capital Founding Partner. “But we recognize the situation in Myanmar as being among the most serious and egregious situations we have encountered with a portfolio company, and we believe that TotalEnergies is well placed to play a leading role among its peers from an ESG perspective.”
A failure by TotalEnergies to satisfactorily address this situation will force Coast Capital to lead campaigns to vote to remove the management and directors from the board at TotalEnergies, and from every other board, considering clear and inexplicable moral failings.
Coast Capital is a New York-based fundamental investor that takes a Private Equity approach to deeply undervalued European-listed Equities. Coast Capital believes that sustainability of environmental and human resources is a precondition for commerce to thrive and grow. Furthermore, we believe that companies must continuously work to minimize their impact on the environment and honor key stakeholders - shareholders, clients, employees and the communities in which they operate. Investors can no longer focus just on financial returns. Coast Capital actively works to improve the social, environmental and governance standards of its invested companies.