Rebranding For French Oil Giant Total As It Shifts To Renewables

Implementing its strategy of shifting from oil and gas to renewable energy sources, the oil and gas giant Total will rebrand itself as TotalEnergies.

In addition to approving the environmental goals of the company, shareholders of the company also voted overwhelmingly in favour of the rebranding move.

“We want to become a sort of green energy major,” said company’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanné.

There is increasing pressure on big energy companies to adapt and adjust to a lower-carbon world.

Two board members at Exxon in the US were successfully ousted on Wednesday by a small hedge fund investor as the investor attempted to change the direction of the company on climate change.

Another of the big players in the oil and gas sector Royal Dutch Shell was ordered to cut its emissions more quickly than the Anglo-Dutch oil firm had planned, by a court in the Netherlands.

A target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 has been set by the fourth-largest privately owned oil and gas producer Total – partly by investing more in solar and wind power projects.

While the plans of the company were opposed by several small investors at the company’s annual general meeting and argued that the measures did not go far enough, more than 90 per cent of the shareholders voted for the resolution.  

According to Mike Coffin, senior analyst in oil and gas at financial think tank Carbon Tracker, energy companies in Europe have been swifter compared to their American counterparts in moving more quickly to begin the transition away from fossil fuels.

“Total we see in the upper tier, ranking alongside BP, but below Eni,” he said. “They don’t fulfil all our hallmarks of Paris [climate treaty] compliance, but above Shell and certainly above the North American companies.”

The new name would symbolise Total’s “new commitment to be a leader in a world with more energies and fewer emissions” Pouyanné had said in February while announcing the planned rebranding of the company.

In order to meet its net zero target by 2050, the company has to go through “a genuine transformation”, he said.

In a report published this month that surprised the energy market, the International Energy Agency cautioned that there was need for a faster slowdown in the production of fossil fuel than the oil and gas companies are currently planning to do.

It the world wanted to reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, after this year, there should not be any new investment in fossil fuel projects, The IEA said.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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