Total's corporate strategy inconsistent with Paris Climate Agreement, according to NGO report

In a report, titled "Total: The Climate Chaos Strategy", NGOs Notre Affaire à Tous, and Friends of the Earth France highlight the lack of action by Total to combat its impact and contribution to climate change. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Total to respond - the company responded (see below). 

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24 June 2019

Report summary: "Total: The Climate Chaos Strategy"

Author: Notre Affaire à Tous,, Friends of the Earth France

This report reveals that the Group is building its strategy on the New Policies Scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA), a scenario leading to a warming of between 2.7 ° C and 3.3 ° C... Relying on this scenario contradicts frontally the Paris Agreement and the numerous declarations of Total, namely: ... the various reports «integrating climate into our strategy» from 2016 to 2018, which repeatedly highlight the fact that the group has «an ambition consistent with the 2 ° C scenario»... The mitigation levers proposed by Total in no way guarantee the achievement of the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement... The objectives do not go beyond the year 2030 and mention no objective of carbon neutrality, yet necessary to the horizon 2050... Total’s «bio-refineries» can not be presented as a measure to combat climate change, mainly because of the massive imports of palm oil that they require, which contribute significantly to tropical deforestation. Total continues to invest heavily and almost exclusively in oil and gas... This unambitious strategy is even more grave as a limitation of global warming to +1.5 ° C is still possible, if a real inflection of GHG emissions is initiated. Total should radically change its economic model and abandon its new projects in oil and gas.

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Company response
24 June 2019

Total's response

Total supports the objectives of the Paris agreement, and has integrated the challenges of climate change into its strategy. This strategy, which encompasses investments not only in the oil business but also in natural gas and low-carbon electricity businesses, involves gradually decreasing the carbon intensity of the energy products used by our customers... Total also has the ambition to reduce the carbon intensity of energy products used by its customers by 15% between 2015, date of the Paris Agreement, and 2030. In the longer term, beyond 2030, our ambition is to pursue these efforts, or possibly to accelerate as new technologies become available and public policies are put in place, and reach a reduction of 25 to 35% by 2040... This path represents a positive contribution by Total towards achieving the objectives set by the Paris Agreement, while enabling it to fulfill its commitment to supply to as many people as possible a more affordable, more available and cleaner energy while responding to growing consumer energy demand and in particular for electricity... Total encourages dialog with its stakeholders and is open to exchange on climate issues and the challenges they represent. However, the associations signatories of this report have never expressed their willingness to open dialog with the Group on these issues.

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