Energy plays a key role in mitigating climate change. As a major energy player, Total has been working for many years to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our activities. At the same time, we have proactively joined with the industry and the international community to identify joint solutions for capping the increase in global temperatures below 2°C. In particular, we advocate the adoption of carbon pricing.
SHAPING TOMORROW’S ENERGY
Energy consumption generates more than 80% of global carbon emissions. With the world’s population expected to surpass 9 billion by 2040, we must make major strides in energy efficiency if we are to stabilize energy demand at levels close to the current rate of consumption. In addition, the global energy mix will need to change significantly in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Our ambition is to become the responsible energy major. We are committed to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations, especially in areas related to climate action and the development of energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible.
In the belief that climate goals can only be met by mobilizing businesses, governments and consumers as a team, we are also working to create gateways for identifying solutions. In particular, we are joining forces with other major players through organizations that aim to expand the courses of action available.
For example, we are a founding member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), where we work with a dozen other oil and gas companies in backing the deployment of solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017 we joined the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of investors with the means to provide long-term support to new businesses at the forefront of energy issues. We lend the organization our expertise in the energy industry and sustainable solutions.
OUR ACTIVE ROLE IN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
In order to help define technical standards or make our voice heard regarding government policies related to our business, we belong to national and international business and industry associations.
In 2019, we examined the public stance taken by those associations on climate issues to verify that their positions were aligned with our own (and, where appropriate, chose not to renew our membership in those whose positions were opposed to ours). That review was conducted on the basis of six criteria:
- The scientific position: Total believes the link between human activity and climate change is an established fact.
- The Paris Agreement: Total recognizes that the Paris Agreement is a major advance in the fight against climate change and supports the initiatives of the implementing States to fulfill its aims.
- Carbon pricing: Total believes that it is necessary to implement carbon pricing to encourage energy efficiency, support low-carbon technology and develop carbon sinks, all critical to achieve carbon neutrality.
- The role of natural gas: Total considers that natural gas is a key component in the energy transition, specifically as an alternative to coal. The Group supports policies to reduce methane emissions from natural gas production and consumption and, in particular, campaigns to reduce the use of flaring (such as the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative).
- The development of renewable energies: Total supports policies, initiatives and technologies to promote growth in renewable energies. The Group also supports the development of sustainable biofuels.
- The development of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS): Total supports the development of CCUS, which is critical to achieve carbon neutrality by the second half of the century, the aim of the Paris Agreement.
A STRONG COMMITMENT TO CARBON PRICING
We advocate implementing carbon pricing to combat emissions. We believe that this helps fight climate change by creating incentives to move the energy mix in the right direction. Putting a price on carbon is the most efficient financial signal to change the rules of the game and hasten the switch to power generation.
We already use a carbon price to financially assess our own capital expenditure, to make sure our projects and long-term strategy are viable given climate challenges.
We are calling for the rapid adoption of pricing mechanisms that are tailored to specific circumstances, such as geographical region or economic sector, and can be gradually linked. More broadly, we have been involved since 2015 in various international initiatives, including:
- Paying for Carbon. In 2015, we and five other leading oil and gas companies called on the international community to implement carbon pricing mechanisms.
- The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. We contribute to this World Bank initiative in order to expand the reach of our messages.
- The Climate Leadership Council. We joined the council and its carbon dividend project as a founding member.