Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global challenge that Total is fully committed to tackling. Various initiatives have been implemented by the Group to address this major issue, including carbon capture, utilization and storage.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is a solution that can effectively cut CO2 emissions, the primary cause of global warming. How does it do this? By recycling CO2 through industrial solutions and operations, or by permanently and safely storing it underground.
CCUS can capture 90% to 95% of an industrial facility’s emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, this method could reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by up to 14% by 2050. Globally, the goal for 2050 is to capture approximately 5 billion metric tons of CO2 per year to keep global warming below 2°C.
A Tangible Commitment for Total
Total has committed to action, devoting considerable resources to help accomplish this goal. Today, 10% of the Group’s R&D budget is allocated to carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.
In 2017, Total also signed an agreement with Shell and Equinor (previously Statoil) to develop a large-scale carbon storage project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The project is in line with Total’s roadmap, which aims to develop CCUS in order to reduce the environmental footprint of its projects.
Total also supports the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which manages an investment fund of over $1 billion for clean technologies, including CCUS.
More recently, Total signed a partnership with Svante, LafargeHolcim and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures this year to study the feasibility of an industrial carbon capture and utilization system installed in a facility in Colorado (United States).
The Importance of Carbon Pricing
CCUS will only be rolled out on a large scale if the technology is deemed profitable. That is why Total is working to promote the implementation of a carbon pricing mechanism, which the Group believes is the most effective way to send an economic message and therefore quickly change mentalities.
By putting a price on carbon, climate change can be tackled at its source, creating incentives to move the energy mix in the right direction.
Total has already introduced carbon pricing in the economic assessments of its own investments. By doing this, the Group can ensure the viability of its projects and long-term strategy in relation to climate issues.