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
Early September 2020, Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy’s Spanish subsidiary, confirmed a new contract for the 300MW wind park Boujdour, which was to be built in the Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, in cooperation with the Moroccan company NAREVA. Contradicting the UN, Siemens Gamesa located the planned wind park „in Southern Morocco“. The fact that Western Sahara represents autonomous territory, over which Morocco has no sovereignty, had also already been confirmed by the European Court of Justice. This means transactions in Western Sahara require the consent of the Saharaui people, something Siemens Gamesa had not requested. As a result, Storebrand, Norway’s largest private asset manager, excluded Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa in January 2021 from its portfolio because of international legal concerns.
„Siemens Energy does not recognize the signs of the times in Western Sahara either. Despite years of criticizing this energy project, which stabilizes the Moroccan occupying regime, the company intensifies business relations with the Moroccan king’s energy company”, comments Tim Sauer from the NGO Western Sahara Resource Watch, that documents international company activities in occupied Western Sahara. „Should Siemens Energy continue to ignore the warning issued by several European Parliament members indicating serious legal and moral risks, Storebrand will not be the last investor to exclude Siemens Energy. Since the declaration of the entire Western Sahara as a war zone in November 2020, it must now be clear that there is no alternative to exiting business transactions in the region.”
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 natural 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 Officer Urgewald
firstname.lastname@example.org +49 2583 5380976
Regine Richter | Energy Campaigner Urgewald
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Tim Sauer | Western Sahara Resource Watch Germany
firstname.lastname@example.org +49 157 3791 5593