Can we influence the general policy of a company like TotalEnergies? Is it possible to bend this energy giant to genuinely participate in the fight against climate change, even if its activity consists in depleting our planet’s resources? That is the opinion of a group of investors from TotalEnergies. These 11 investors, who own 0.8% of the oil group’s capital, have submitted a resolution to TotalEnergies’ general meeting, which will be held on May 25. Their goal ? Demand group emissions targets in line with Paris climate agreement, reports the gallery† Does this daring strategy have any chance of success?
“Despite improvements, TotalEnergies has failed to meet investor expectations in aligning its reduction targets with the Paris Agreement”the investors said in a press release published on Wednesday, April 13 and passed on by the gallery† Specifically, the TotalEnergies group calls for the implementation of the requirements of the UN agreement signed at the COP21 organized in Paris in 2015: the signatories must, as the gallerylimit their impact on the climate by taking measures to keep the temperature increase below 2°C and 1.5°C by 2100 compared to the pre-industrial period.
“We encourage the company to become the first oil and gas giant to fully align its 2030 targets with (a limit of) 1.5 degrees and set an example for others in the industry”says Bas Bijleveld, advisor responsible investment and governance at MN, one of the spokespersons for the group of investors involved in the request.
For TotalEnergies, the policy is “innovative”
In response, the French oil group assured that it would report to the General Assembly “Progress made in sustainable development and the energy transition to carbon neutrality”and also states that it “will submit its report ‘Sustainability and Climate’ to the advisory vote of shareholders”† Confidently, the group also assured that its climate policy was “innovative and real progress within the CAC40”†
This isn’t the first time a general meeting has provided an opportunity for investors to challenge an oil group on its commitment to climate change. as remembered the galleryLast year the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell saw a resolution of the environmental association Follow This supported with 30% of the votes at its general meeting.
It remains to be seen whether these resolutions have a real impact on the political groups’ commitments. In 2020, several investors, this time representing 1.35% of Total’s capital, also asked the French group to comply with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Among them we found La Banque Postale or Ecofi Investissements and Crédit Mutuel Asset Management. The latter did not support next month’s initiative. A confession that the battle is lost or a simple change of strategy? The future will tell.