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Shareholders Overwhelmingly Back Total’s Climate Policy

Shareholders supported on Friday the climate policy of French Total and approved the rebranding of the supermajor to TotalEnergies to reflect its pivot to renewable energy.

Total’s annual general meeting on Friday came after a turbulent week for Big Oil, in which major companies such as Exxon, Chevron, and Shell suffering stinging defeats in the boardrooms and – in Shell’s case – in a Dutch courtroom.

“In May 2020, we announced our ambition to get to net zero emissions across our operations by 2050, together with society. Because this new decade will be critical on the path to carbon neutrality, we have made specific, quantified commitments for 2030 that were very widely supported at this morning’s Annual General Meeting,” Total’s chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

As of today, Total becomes TotalEnergies after its shareholders approved nearly unanimously the resolution to change the company’s name from Total to TotalEnergies, “thereby anchoring its strategic transformation into a broad energy company in its identity,” the company said.

“Our ambition is to be a world-class player in the energy transition. That is why Total is transforming and becoming TotalEnergies,” Pouyanné noted.

Total is betting on profitably growing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable businesses as part of its strategy and net-zero agenda.  

Pouyanné told French newspaper Le Parisien last year that the firm aims to be among the world’s top five producers of renewable energy. The company’s operations mix today is 55 percent oil, 40 percent gas, and less than 5 percent electricity from renewables, Pouyanné said, noting that in 2050, Total’s operations would be divided into 20 percent oil, 40 percent gas, and 40 percent renewable energy.

A report from climate think tank Carbon Tracker on Thursday ranked Total second among the major international oil firms in terms of strong emission reduction policies. Although the report found that overall, none of Big Oil is on track to meet the Paris Agreement targets, Total has made progress in strengthening its climate policies in the past 12 months, joining the first tier of top performers Eni and BP. Total’s policy, however, pledges net-zero emissions targets in Europe only—that’s why it comes second to Eni, which makes no exceptions, according to Carbon Tracker.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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