Total Pledges Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
By Maitane Sardon
French oil major Total SA said Tuesday that it will aim to
achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 after engaging with a group of
institutional investors with more than $40 trillion in assets.
The move comes as the oil-and-gas sector faces pressure from
investors to tackle climate change and shift away from hydrocarbons
amid a historic meltdown in oil prices. Fossil-fuel companies in
Europe are also looking to align their strategies with the European
Union's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050, as governments
ready regulations to punish big polluters.
Total said it aims to achieve net-zero emissions from its
operations world-wide and from the energy products it sells in
Europe by 2050. The company is also targeting a 60% reduction in
the carbon intensity of its products to less than 27.5 grams of
carbon dioxide per megajoule.
"Energy markets are changing, driven by climate change,
technology and societal expectations," Chairman and Chief Executive
Patrick Pouyanné said. "As the EU has set the target to achieve
net-zero emissions by 2050 and thereby lead the way for other
regions to become carbon neutral over time, Total takes that
commitment to become neutral for all its businesses in Europe."
The company also said it will assess its oil-and-gas capex
allocation to make sure it is consistent with the Paris Agreement
and will advocate for policies that support achieving net-zero
Climate Action 100+, the group of investors behind the
engagement, welcomed Total's announcement, which it said is the
result of many years of dialogue with the company.
"This agreement is one of the most significant achievements in
the oil-and-gas industry so far," said Helena Vines Fiestas, global
head of stewardship and policy at BNP Paribas Asset Management.
"The global energy system is under significant structural pressure
from long-term forces such as decarbonization and the deflationary
impact of renewables... Total's commitment shows that it
understands the scale of this challenge."
Total's pledge is the latest in a series of commitments made by
European oil majors.
In April, Royal Dutch Shell PLC set more ambitious emissions
goals, including reducing the carbon footprint of the fuel it sells
by 30% by 2035 and 65% by 2050.
In March, British oil-and-gas company BP PLC agreed to draft a
shareholder resolution to be voted on next year that would enshrine
its pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Norwegian energy major Equinor ASA in February announced new
climate goals, including reaching carbon neutrality from its
operations by 2030, boosting renewable energy tenfold by 2026 and
cutting its carbon intensity by at least half by 2050.
Write to Maitane Sardon at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 05, 2020 05:58 ET (09:58 GMT)
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