• Record fine

    The French oil company Total has been given the largest-ever fine imposed in Europe for damage caused to the environment. At the end of a long trial, a criminal court in Paris last month found Total guilty of ‘ecological prejudice’ and recklessness over the oil spill from the tanker Erika off the coast of France and Spain in 1999. Total and three other parties were ordered to pay €192 million for the environmental damage caused, after evidence was presented showing they ignored risks in the ageing tanker. Total has said it may appeal, but it might also face claims for more damages.