Total and CA100+ announced a new climate ambition today.
No Paris-aligned targets, no shift in investments to renewables
“At first sight, Total’s new ambition does not include concrete targets; is not in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, and will therefore not lead to the much-needed shift investments from fossil fuels to renewables to actually achieve the Paris goal,” says Mark van Baal of Follow This that tables climate targets resolutions at Shell, Equinor, and BP since 2016. Total faces a similar resolution filed by a group of institutional investors.
“Total’s response to a climate targets resolution is classic: announcing a climate ambition with CA100+, and calling the resolution ‘unnecessary’. Shell (in 2018 and 2020), Equinor and BP (in 2019) responded in the exact same way.”
“Big Oil executives seize every opportunity to cite joint statements with CA100+ as a fig leaf to disguise inaction on emissions.”
Carbon intensity ambition
Total’s ambition to reduce its carbon intensity by 60% (a relative metric) combined with an estimated growth of energy demand of 40% results in an absolute net emission reduction of around 44% by 2050, whereas absolute emissions reduction of 70-100% is required according IPPC scenarios.
Low carbon investments
Total’s pledge to allocates more than 10% of its investments to low carbon electricity (and 20% in 2030) means little, while ‘low carbon’ most of the time equals ‘natural gas’ in Total’s dictionary.
Total CA100+ statement Total takes major new steps to achieve its ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050
Three major steps to get Total to Net Zero:
1. Net Zero across Total’s worldwide operations by 2050 or sooner (scope 1+2)
2. Net Zero across all its production and energy products used by its customers in Europe by 2050 or sooner (scope 1+2+3)
3. 60% or more reduction in the average carbon intensity of energy products used worldwide by Total customers by 2050 (less than 27.5 gCO2/MJ) – with intermediate steps of 15% by 2030 and 35% by 2040 (scope 1 + 2 + 3)
Total currently allocates more than 10% of its Capex to low carbon electricity, the highest level among the Majors.
CA100+ and Big Oil
“The CA100+ has the exact same goal as Follow This, but a different tactical approach. We believe that only concrete targets for all emissions will lead to the necessary shift in investments from fossil fuels to renewables. CA100+’s approach builds consensus at the cost of lost transparency and urgency.”
“In the oil industry, directors of publicly traded oil companies have waved joint statements and a resolution with CA100+ to claim the endorsement of their largest investors.
Meanwhile, the capital investment plans of Big Oil tell the real, terrifying story. Oil majors remain determined to invest overwhelmingly in hydrocarbons in this decade. This is an unacceptable picture, CA100+ has introduced new complexity, albeit unintended.”