Investors including activist group Follow This filed a resolution to pressure TotalEnergies (PARIS: TTE) to vote for more ambitious emissions targets when the company holds its annual general meeting next month.
The resolution — backed by 17 institutional investors from France, Belgium, the Netherlands , the UK and the US — calls for the French energy giant to reduce its indirect carbon emissions, according to a statement from Follow This.
Specifically, it wants TotalEnergies to align its 2030 target for so-called Scope 3 emissions — those targets tied to the use of its products by its clients — in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, it said. The company’s AGM is scheduled for on May 26.
The move is the latest example of activist investors ratcheting up pressure for major oil companies to take a harder stance on curbing climate change. Follow This said it has filed similar motions for the AGMs of Shell Plc, BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.
In Europe in particular, the energy crisis exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine has led to greater reliance on fossil fuels, at least in the short term. Some Big Oil companies have backed away from earlier plans to speed the transition to renewables.
The Paris accord aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably contain it to 1.5 degrees. A United Nations-backed panel last month determined that “deep, rapid and sustained” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to keep climate change within livable limits.
“To achieve the goal of Paris, the world has to almost halve emissions by 2030, but TotalEnergies has no plan to drive down emissions this decade,” Follow This founder Mark van Baal said in the statement. “These climate resolutions at Big Oil will show which investors are serious about resolving the climate crisis and which prefer to just talk about it.”
Total plans to trim net emissions from its operations — so-called Scope 1 and 2 — to as low as 25 million tons of CO2-equivalent by 2030, from 40 million tons last year. It says its Scope 3 emissions will be less than 400 million tons at the end of the decade, compared to 389 million tons in 2022. That’s as the French major plans to increase sales of liquefied natural gas while it cuts sales of oil products.