Veolia is attempting to acquire its industry rival, Suez. Wednesday, the board of Engie, which owns 32 percent of Suez, will consider an offer from Veolia to purchase a 29.9 percent stake in Suez from it.
Both Suez and Veolia, the largest players in the private water industry, have a long track record of human rights, labor, and environmental abuses. And that track record seems to be catching up to them — Veolia is even rumored to be considering selling off its North American water business after being connected to some of the most high-profile public health crises in U.S. history.
Please see below for a statement from Corporate Accountability Water Director Lauren DeRusha.
“Corporate control of water is completely against the will of people around the globe. Because of the industry’s abysmal track record, communities around the world continue to reject water privatization and that’s making the industry leaders desperate. Just this month, the U.N.’s foremost expert on the human rights to water and sanitation released a scathing critique of water privatization.
If Veolia’s take-over is successful, this European-based conglomerate could consolidate more control over water, which poses a particular threat in the Global South. If history is our guide, the result will undoubtedly be unjust and abusive. The best way to make sure all people have access to water, is for people — not corporations — to control it.
The deal, expected to be decided tomorrow, is just the first step in a long process of Veolia’s attempted acquisition, and people will fight every step of the way to not only prevent the consolidated corporate control of water, but also for a future where access to water is guaranteed — not bought and sold.”