Électricité de France (EDF Group)
Électricité de France (EDF Group) is a state-owned energy company that was renationalized in 2023 after a partial privatization in 2005. Nuclear power made up 76 percent of its 2022 energy production and it was one of the three largest gas emitters in the European Union in 2021. The company is currently building the world’s largest nuclear plant in India despite widespread community opposition. The safety of its nuclear plants has often been a topic of controversy as a result of reported leaks, sealing failures, and insufficient monitoring of subcontractors. In order to make the burial of nuclear waste more “socially acceptable” in Meuse and Haute-Marne in eastern France, EDF reportedly spent €340 million (US$363 million).
The company has also been heavily criticized over the impact of the hydroelectric dams that it has built such as the Nam Theun II project on a tributary of the Mekong River in Laos, and for a proposed dam at Mphanda Nkuwa on the Zambezi river in Mozambique. Communities in Brazil successfully defeated EDF's proposed São Luiz do Tapajós dam in 2016.
Nuclear power, hydropower, wind power, solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy and fossil-fired energy.
EDF Renewables was profiled as part of the report "Green" Multinationals Exposed: How the Energy Transition is Being Hijacked by Corporate Interests.
Violation data is still being gathered for Électricité de France at this time.
- Green colonialism and the energy transition in Mexico: the hidden face of extractivism and industrial renewables by Josefa S. Contreras, Norberto Altamirano and Stop EDF Mexique (2022)
- Renewable energy (in)justice in Latin America by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (2021)
- Clean development or the development of dispossession? The political economy of wind parks in Southern Mexico by Chris Hesketh (2021)
- The Financialisation, Marketisation & Privatisation of Renewable Energy: 626 transactions in secondary market in 20 months cost US$289bn - Strategies for public ownership by Dexter Whitfield/The European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU) (2020)
- Bureaucratic land grabbing for infrastructural colonization: renewable energy, L’Amassada, and resistance in southern France by Alexander Dunlap (2020)
- Save the Namtu River: Impacts of the Upper Yeywa and other planned
dams on the Namtu in Shan State by the Shan Human Rights Foundation, Shan State Farmers’ Network & Shan Sapawa Environmental Organization (2016)
- EDF asphyxiated by nuclear power by Alpha Value (2016)
Paula Reisdorf | CorpWatch | June 21, 2023
The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is one of the windiest locations in the world. Located in Oaxaca state, México, it has been historically famous as the shortest distance between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Today it is also the location of major conflict between Indigenous communities and wind energy companies.
Other Key Sources
- Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on EDF Group - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
- Mirador's profile on EDF Group - Mirador is a project of the Belgium-based NGO Research Group for an Alternative Economic Strategy (GRESEA), which monitors abuse carried out by the largest multinational corporations in Belgium and the world.
- We Own It's profile on EDF Energy (UK subsidiary) - We Own It is a UK-based NGO that campaigns against privatization and for the public ownership of services like energy, health, schools and water.
Morning Star | July 9, 2023
Nuclear power station workers across England and Scotland celebrated today after their unions won a ground-breaking deal from EDF bosses. (There have been regular strikes by British unions to push for wage negotiations with EDF management.)
Le Point | February 18, 2023
The social movement which paralyzed the EDF Insular Electric Production (PEI) thermal power plant ended with the signing of an agreement. (There have been yearly union strikes across France and its overseas territories in which workers push for negotiating better wages.)
Mexico News Daily | June 6, 2022
“On Thursday, and after five long years defending their rights to land, territory and natural resources, the Zapotec community of Unión Hidalgo … announced that the … [CFE] had definitively canceled the energy supply contracts with French corporation EDF,” it said.
Macau Business | March 22, 2022
Greenpeace urged French energy firms EDF and Orano on Tuesday to drop their nuclear ties with Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Daria Cibrario | Public Services International | April 8, 2021
The 75th anniversary comes at a watershed moment for the future of EDF, currently under the pressure of the Macron government and of the EU Commission to unbundle, opening its profitable parts to private investors (the national grid, a natural monopoly, and the EDF renewables arm), leaving the taxpayer to cover the generation park that requires massive investment and maintenance.
Burma Campaign UK | October 24, 2019
The Shweli 3 dam is in an area of Shan State which has been under the control of different ethnic armed organisations. Once work began on preparations for the dam, Burmese Army battalions moved into the area triggering conflict that forced hundreds to flee their homes.
France 24 | April 19, 2019
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.
Marie Bourguignon | RTBF | July 5, 2017
The staff of the EDF Luminus company were on strike all day this Wednesday at its administrative sites in Seraing and the Saint-Michel island in Liège.
Corporate Accountability Intl. calls for "big polluters" not to be part of negotiations on global climate deal
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre | June 17, 2015
In May, it was revealed that COP 21 in Paris may be yet another “Corporate COP” with the announcement of EDF and Suez Environnement as lead sponsors... ENGIE and EDF’s coal operations contribute to nearly 50% of France’s emissions.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | April 4, 2014
26 international NGOs are supporting Justiça Ambiental, the Mozambican branch of Friends of the Earth, in signing an open letter addressed to EDF CEO Henri Proglio and the other directors of the group (largely representatives of the French state).
Survival International | March 14, 2014
Brazilian Indigenous Sonia Guajajara led a protest in Paris calling for a halt to the construction of mega-dams in the Amazon. Sonia led over a hundred protestors to the offices of French companies GDF Suez, EDF and Alstom, which are involved in the construction of several destructive dams.
Fuel Poverty Action | November 22, 2011
Today, fifty protesters staged a ‘die-in’ protest at the head office of EDF, one of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies – protesters claim that the government and Big Six energy companies share responsibility for thousands of deaths caused by fuel poverty.
- Amazon Watch
- Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM)
- European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
- European Public Service Union (EPSU)
- European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU)
- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
- IndustriALL Global Union
- OECD Watch
- Public Services International (PSI)
- The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
- Association of Environmental Defense Associations (ADELFA)
- Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development - Earth Solidarity (CCFD)
- Energy Shift
- France Libertés
- France Nature Environnement (FNE)
- French Confederation of Management – General Confederation of Executives (CFE-CGC)
- French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT)
- Friends of the Earth
- General Confederation of Labor (CGT)
- Greenpeace France
- Network for Nuclear Phase-out
- Multinationals Observatory
- National Federation of Mines and Energy (FNME-CGT)
- Non-Violent Action COP21 (ANV-COP21)
- Nord Nature Environnement
- Planète Amazone
- Ponthieu Marquenterre Solidaire
- Stop EDF Mexique
- Workers’ Force (FO)
- Burma Campaign UK
- GMB Union
- Fife - Ready for Renewal
- Fife Trades Union Council
- Fuel Poverty Action
- No Dash for Gas
- Reclaim the Power
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
- Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)
- Unite the Union
- Assembly of Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT)
- Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC)
- Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)
- Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) - Netherlands
- Friends of the Earth Mozambique (Justiça Ambiental)
- Greenpeace Luxembourg
- Ta’ang Students and Youth Union - Myanmar
America Hernandez | Reuters | May 2, 2023
A French appeals court rejected on Tuesday a complaint filed by minority shareholders against the terms of a government buyout of power giant EDF (EDF.PA), clearing the way for a full nationalisation of the company to go ahead.
Levi Winchester | The Mirror | February 17, 2023
EDF Energy has revealed its UK profits hit £1.12billion for last year as millions of Brits struggle to heat their homes.
Reporterre | September 30, 2022
As Le Monde points out, it is therefore this “privatization expert” , who worked on the initial public offering (IPO) during the partial privatization of EDF in 2005, who will be responsible for managing the renationalization of the utility.
Théophile Kouamouo | Le Média | January 18, 2022
In the end, if we remain in this “religion” of the private sector which privatizes profits and socializes losses, it is the taxpayer who will end up losing. And public heritage too.
People's Dispatch | September 21, 2019
Trade unions claim that the French government’s “Project Hercules” will endanger job security and strip them of their status as electric gas industry workers, which ensures the protection of their social benefits and provides collective guarantees from the employers
James Tapper | The Guardian | March 12, 2017
So energy companies have little incentive to give the sticky 66% a good deal, which results in “excessive prices” generating about £2bn a year for the big six – British Gas, Scottish Power, EDF, SSE, Npower and E.ON – according to a landmark report by the Competition and Markets Authority last year.
Leo Le Calvez | Street Press | June 12, 2023
StreetPress revealed last January that RTE, a subsidiary of EDF, had spilled more than 30,000 liters of toxic oil into nature between Romainville and Villemomble (93). A complaint has just been filed by the AC Anti-Corruption association.
America Hernandez & Forrest Crellin | Reuters | March 10, 2023
France's nuclear safety watchdog ASN has ordered energy utility EDF to inspect about 200 pipe weldings across its 56-nuclear reactor fleet after discovering three additional cracks this week, the regulator said on Friday.
Sarah Elzas | RFI | February 22, 2022
France's competition regulator has fined the electricity provider Electricité de France (EDF) and its subsidiaries 300 million euros for abusing its dominant market position for over 15 years.
Israel Gama | Global Energy | September 21, 2021
The First Collegiate Court in Civil and Administrative Matters of the Thirteenth Circuit based in Oaxaca, granted an injunction to the Agrarian Community of Juchitán so that the company Electricité de France (EDF) stops the Gunaa Sicarú wind project...
Jillian Ambrose | The Guardian | July 31, 2020
The regulators found that the French state-owned energy company spread “false information” about its agreement with the UK government to build Britain’s first nuclear reactors in more than 20 years.
Europe1 | January 26, 2018
Six NGOs filed a complaint on Friday before the high court of Dunkirk, against EDF, to provoke a judicial investigation into “clandestine evacuation pipes discharging potentially contaminated effluent into the environment” from the nuclear power plant.
Virgule | December 4, 2017
With 58 reactors on French territory and numerous power plants just a stone's throw from France's neighboring countries, “the nuclear risk knows no borders,” they add.
Ivan du Roy | Observatoire des Multinationales | December 17, 2013
France and its major corporations were among the most loyal supporters of Pretoria’s racist regime, to which they sold arms, nuclear and industrial technologies, in total disregard of UN sanctions... EDF and Framatome - now integrated into Areva - even built the first South African nuclear plant!
Simon Read | The Independent | March 13, 2013
Energy giant EDF today dropped a £5m law suit against 21 climate change protesters that shut down the company’s new West Burton gas-fired power station last October.
BBC | March 9, 2012
Energy supplier EDF has agreed to pay a package worth £4.5m - including £3.5m to customers - after an Ofgem investigation into how it tried to make sales to customers.
Hanna Gersmann | The Guardian | November 10, 2011
The energy company's former security chief was sentenced to three years in prison for employing a firm to hack into the energy watchdog's computers.
Ioannis Gatsiounis | The New York Times | March 15, 2006
Nam Theun's 450-square-kilometer, or 175-square-mile, reservoir will drown Sop Hia and neighboring hamlets along with 40 percent of the Nakai Plateau, where the dam is being built, displacing 6,000 indigenous villagers and affecting the livelihoods of 100,000 other people. It will be managed by a consortium led by the French state-controlled Électricité de France and including two Thai companies and the Laotian government.
Marwane Ben Yahmed | Jeune Afrique | February 7, 2023
Environmental protectors denounce half a dozen wind farm projects that would pose a direct threat to the Eastern Cape's natural parks.
Vincent Ni | The Guardian | June 14, 2021
A French nuclear company has said it is working to resolve a “performance issue” at a plant it part-owns in China’s southern Guangdong province after an earlier report of a potential leak there.
Brazil: The hydroelectric plant controlled by the French and Brazilian governments accused of killing 80,000 fish in the Amazon
Caio de Freitas Paes | BBC | September 30, 2019
The concessionaire responsible for the hydroelectric plant joins the state-owned companies Electricité de France (EDF) and Eletrobras, and holds the rights to operate the plant until 2043.
Juliet Davenport | Good Energy | July 5, 2019
EDF is one of the largest investors in and owners of nuclear power stations in the UK and in Europe – Hinkley Point C’s construction costs alone are around £20 Billion. It does have some wind power, 906MW in capacity, compared to its tenfold 9008MW of nuclear. It does not operate any solar farms. Its standard tariffs are 1.35% renewable.
Jérôme Thorel | Observatoire des Multinationales | March 29, 2018
On June 30, 2000, the government decides to create a public interest group (GIP) in each of the two departments (Gip Objectif Meuse and Gip Haute-Marne), responsible for “economic support”, even if the landfill project does not exist. Not yet. The funds are provided by players in the nuclear sector, EDF (78%), the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA, 17%) and Areva (5%).
France: Serious malfunctions at the Fessenheim power plant, whose lifespan EDF claims to further extend
Agnès Rousseaux | Observatoire des Multinationales | March 25, 2015
“How can you authorize the restart of a nuclear reactor when important elements for “protection” are powered by a possibly defective box?”, five anti-nuclear NGOs asked in an open letter to the director of the power station.
Rachel Knaebel | Observatoire des Multinationales | November 5, 2014
If EDF is in the process of closing or modernizing the few coal-fired power plants it owns in France, the same is not true in neighboring countries. In Poland and the United Kingdom, the French public company has obtained “exemptions” from European regulations which will allow it to continue to pollute in complete peace for several more years.
Climate Home News | January 8, 2016
Advertising watchdog sides with anti-nuclear campaigners against French utility’s claim 98% of its electricity is carbon-free.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | June 15, 2014
While France has banned hydraulic fracturing on its own territory due to environmental risks, EDF decided to adopt exactly the opposite policy, purchasing shale gas wells in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Observatoire des Multinationales | January 6, 2014
EDF is involved in coal power plant projects that emit high levels of greenhouse gases in Serbia, but also in Poland and Croatia, in total contradiction with France's orientation towards more "environmentally friendly energy sources", critiques Malika Peyraut, campaign manager at Friends of the Earth.
David Adam & Rob Evans | The Guardian | May 16, 2006
The top five companies (EON UK, RWE Npower, Drax, Corus, and EDF) produced between them more than 100m tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005. On average, the country's 26m private cars produce 91m tonnes each year.
France: Network for Nuclear Phase-out files complaint against EDF for insufficient monitoring of subcontractors
L. Radisson | Actu Environnement | October 3, 2023
The Network for Nuclear Phase-out (RSN) announced that it filed a complaint against EDF on September 11 for violations of the environmental code and regulations relating to basic nuclear installations (INB).
Hamza Hamouchene | Berliner Gazette | August 25, 2022
In May 2019, a consortium of EDF Renewables (France), Masdar (UAE) and Green of Africa (Moroccan conglomerate) was selected as the winning bidder to build and operate the facility in partnership with the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) for selected for a period of 25 years.
France: Unions ready to file a complaint against the “sell-off” of EDF electricity to the competition
Adrien Pécout | Le Monde | March 11, 2022
In a press release sent to Le Monde, CGT, CFE-CGC, CFDT and FO announce their intention to file a complaint in the coming days, possibly on Monday, March 14, for illegal state aid for the benefit of EDF's competitors.
Observatoire des Multinationales | July 11, 2017
Fourteen employees of Luminus, a Belgian subsidiary of EDF, learned of their dismissal on June 29 through a simple phone call. The affair sparked an outcry in Belgium and France.
France: Outsourced work: the fight of a Romanian worker injured on the EDF LNG terminal site in Dunkirk
Observatoire des Multinationales | April 21, 2017
The primary victims of this system's flaws are Eastern European workers, while its ultimate beneficiaries are often large French companies, which can keep their costs to a minimum, without having to directly get their hands dirty.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | May 12, 2016
Much of the coal that fuels Europe's power plants comes from Colombia, where its extraction has been associated with thousands of assassinations, forced population displacements and a climate of terror towards local residents and trade unionists.
France: In Paluel, an accident deemed “impossible” by EDF revives the debate on the safety of the French nuclear fleet
Observatoire des Multinationales | April 11, 2016
The first problem is the excessive use of subcontracting. “In 20 years, the share of subcontracted maintenance work has increased from 20 to 80% in nuclear power plants,” claims Thierry Raymond, representative of the FNME-CGT union...
France: EDF's strange transaction with the widow of a worker who died on the Dunkirk LNG terminal site
Observatoire des Multinationales | February 1, 2016
Mediapart reveals that the French public company paid 220,000 euros to the widow of a Portuguese worker who died in July 2014 on the construction site to buy his silence.
Observatoire des Multinationales | March 11, 2014
Several recent reports - including from the company itself - are sounding the alarm about the consequences of the lack of investment in EDF's nuclear power plants in terms of safety and risks for employees.
Peggy Hollinger | Financial Times | September 12, 2011
A furnace used to treat low grade nuclear waste exploded at a nuclear site in southern France on Monday, killing one person and injuring four others.
Netherlands-based BankTrack tracks the involvement of commercial banks in financing business sectors and specific activities with a negative impact on people and planet.
EDF Group is wholly owned by the French state.
Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.
Inès Cussac | Capital | April 6, 2023
Jean-Bernard Lévy, former CEO of EDF, allegedly committed an offense relating to embezzlement in the context of the renationalization of EDF.
France: How Luc Rémont, candidate for the presidency of EDF, prepared his parliamentary hearing with executives from… EDF
Marion Deye | L'Informé | October 25, 2022
Proposed by Emmanuel Macron, Luc Rémont will take his oral test this Wednesday, October 26 at the National Assembly. L'Informé reveals his answers to the elected officials.
France: A case of alleged corruption and favoritism at EDF: an investigation with multiple ramifications
Nikerson Perdius | France TV Info | December 1, 2021
The courts are currently investigating a case of alleged corruption and favoritism regarding public contracts awarded by the company EDF Guyane. Two executives and business leaders are concerned.
James Thomas | Global Investigations Review | September 20, 2019
A French court has sentenced a former procurement manager at energy company EDF to five years in prison and a €100,000 fine for bribery and market rigging, in a case linked to three of the country’s CJIPs.
Le Parisien | July 9, 2019
Up to five years in prison were requested late Monday evening, after seven hours of indictment, before the Nanterre court (Hauts-de-Seine) against around forty defendants, most of whom were prosecuted for having participated in a vast system of corruption and rigged markets set up by an EDF executive.
France: Environmentalists critique EDF and Areva's pressure to have the defective Flamanville tank approved
Observatoire des Multinationales | June 22, 2017
The Network for Nuclear Phase-out criticizes in particular the pressures exerted on the Nuclear Safety Agency (ASN), to the extent that the approval of the EPR vessel is presented as vital for the very survival of the French nuclear industry.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | January 30, 2017
From the outset, the companies most directly concerned – Areva and EDF – did everything they could to avoid finding themselves overwhelmed. They obtained broad representation at all levels: in the steering committee, where Anne Lauvergeon, then boss of Areva, sits, on the national council for the debate on the energy transition, in the list of official experts, and in the debates in region.
Observatoire des Multinationales | November 2, 2016
Mediapart tells how two of these inspectors found themselves burned out due to pressure and threats from EDF, with the support of ASN management.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | June 16, 2016
According to a letter revealed by British environmental organizations, the French group EDF - which readily presents itself as the champion of carbon-free energy - did not hesitate to intervene with the Northumberland authorities to authorize a giant coal mining project.
Arthur Neslen & Rob Evans | The Guardian | March 5, 2015
Five out of the UK’s nine-strong delegation in Brussels work for companies that are responsible for large-scale emissions, including coal power plant operators RWE, EDF and E.ON. The remaining members of the British delegation are civil servants.
Joe Stanley-Smith | International Tax Review | July 27, 2015
The European Commission (EC) has ordered France to recover €1.37 billion ($1.50 billion) from Électricité de France (EDF), the energy company, for tax breaks given to the company in 1997.
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | February 16, 2015
After it was revealed last December that EDF had several subsidiaries in countries considered tax havens, the French government, an 84% shareholder in the company, sent a letter to EDF management to demand clarification of the situation.
BFMTV | September 12, 2014
The public company allegedly avoided paying several million euros by practicing tax optimization by using reinsurance subsidiaries in Ireland and Luxembourg, according to France 2.
Reuters | January 23, 2013
Big French companies, including part state-owned EDF, GDF Suez and Thales, are increasingly using holdings in the Netherlands to reduce taxation, Dutch paper Het Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday, citing its own research.
Notes from Poland | June 29, 2022
French power utility EDF has signed cooperation agreements with five Polish firms as part of its efforts to become a strategic partner in the development of Poland’s first nuclear plants. It has also revealed that the French government is supporting its involvement, including in securing financing.
Economic Times | April 23, 2021
French energy group EDF took Friday a key step towards helping to build the world's biggest nuclear power plant in India, a project blocked for years by nuclear events and local opposition.
Jillian Ambrose | The Telegraph | July 18, 2017
Households could end up paying £50bn to support the new Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, according to government figures, more than eight times the 2013 estimate.
Adam Vaughan | The Guardian | July 3, 2017
The UK’s first nuclear power station for more than two decades is at least £1.5bn over budget and could be completed 15 months behind schedule, its developer has admitted.
Emmanuel Riondé | Observatoire des Multinationales | July 10, 2015
This is a promising innovation: equipping building windows with a photovoltaic filter that looks like smoked glass, which can produce electricity. Enough to make buildings more autonomous and encourage the development of renewable energies. Problem: EDF has decided to cease the activity of its subsidiary, Nexcis, which developed the technology.
Rachel Knaebel | Observatoire des Multinationales | October 16, 2014
EDF, the world's leading nuclear producer, defends nuclear power as the "pivot to competitive, safe and CO2-free electricity production." What the group is careful not to emphasize in its official communication is that it is also investing almost everywhere in the world in another source of energy – coal.
Brazil: Amazonian dams: EDF and GDF Suez are “studying” indigenous lands with the support of the army
Olivier Petitjean | Observatoire des Multinationales | April 25, 2014
The Brazilian government would like to build at least four new dams in this pristine area, of unique biodiversity. It has enlisted help from a group of companies, including French companies EDF and GDF Suez, to carry out environmental impact studies. These companies have been granted the support of the army, to help them sniff out any rebellion from the region’s indigenous peoples.
CorpWatch is still gathering procurement data on EDF Group at this time.