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Hundreds of climate activists block access to Paris business quarter

Thomas Samson, AFP | Climate change activists led by the NGO Extinction Rebellion block the entrance of the Total company's headquarters on 19 April 2019

Hundreds of climate activists staged a protest in Paris's business district of La Défense on Friday morning to highlight the "toxic alliance" between the French state and multinationals that they accuse of being responsible for global warming.

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It was a far cry from "business as usual" at Paris's bustling business district, La Défense, on Friday morning.

Thousands of climate change activists had chained themselves to the entrances of energy companies – such as Total and EDF (Électricité de France) – to protest against what they call President Emmanuel Macron's "toxic alliance" with polluting multinationals.

"Totally irresponsible," some of the protesters chanted.

French oil giant Total has been targeted because of its record on greenhouse gas emissions.

"It's the factory of climate change," said Clément Sénéchal of Greenpeace, one of the NGOs organising the "mass civil disobedience" action along with Friends of the Earth and ANV-COP21, in comments to AFP.

Greenpeace reported more than 2,000 participants. A police source said "a hundred" militants were chained to the EDF tower.

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