Total aims to get to net zero emissions by 2050

May 05, 2020
3 min read
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France’s Total announced its ambition to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 across its global business, production and energy products used by its customers.

Through a joint statement developed between Total and institutional investors – as participants in the global investor initiative Climate 100+1 – Total said it would take three major steps towards achieving this ambition:

  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 Europe2 by 2050 or sooner (scope 1+2+3)
  3. 60per cent 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 per cent by 2030 and 35% by 2040 (scope 1 + 2 + 3)

Patrick Pouyanné, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board, declared: “Energy markets are changing, driven by climate change, technology and societal expectations. Total is committed to helping solve the dual challenge of providing more energy with fewer emissions. We are determined to advance the energy transition while also growing shareholder value. Today, we are announcing our new Climate Ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050 - together with society. The Board believes that Total’s global roadmap, strategy and actions set out a path that is consistent with goals of the Paris agreement. We acknowledge the positive role of engagement and open dialog with investors as the one we experienced with Climate 100+ along the last months.”

Total added that this plan is supported by the strategy to develop Total as a broad-energy company, with oil and gas, low-carbon electricity and carbon-neutrality solutions as integrated parts of its business. Total firmly believes this low-carbon strategy provides a competitive advantage which creates long term value for its shareholders. 

The strategy is already in action since 2015 as Total is the leading major in terms of reduction of its scope 3 average carbon intensity with a 6 per cent reduction already achieved since 2015. And today it sets the highest ambition amongst the majors for its scope 3 average carbon intensity with less than 27.5 GCO2/MJ by 2050.

Valentina Kretzschmar, Wood Mackenzie Vice President of Corporate Research said: "Total has joined the European Majors’ net zero carbon club, committing to achieving carbon neutrality from Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (from selected parts of its global business) - significantly increasing its previously stated targets.

"Total has led energy transition efforts among the Majors and is the largest spender, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the European Majors' total M&A spend in renewables, or nearly US$5 billion since 2016. The company's deeper commitment to meeting carbon targets shows its unwavering strategic direction towards diversification into clean energies, despite low oil prices and the implementation of cost-cutting measures across its oil and gas businesses.

"The move is a positive development for the energy transition within the oil and gas sector, which we expect will accelerate in a post-coronavirus world, especially in Europe. The EU Green Deal, as well as the UK’s aim to achieve net zero carbon by 2050, will continue to increase pressure on companies to commit to clean energy and develop carbon mitigation strategies."