Meeschaert has just announced that it will vote against the “climate” plan being submitted by Total to its shareholders for a vote at its Annual General Meeting on May 28th. The investor, which is leading the engagement efforts of the influential CA100+ group around Total, emphasizes the gap between the measures announced by the oil and gas major and what it still needs to do to genuinely align with global climate objectives. In light of the IEA’s net zero conclusions, Meeschaert is calling on Total to stop investing in new oil and gas projects. Reclaim Finance applauds the asset manager’s decision and calls on other climate-conscious Total shareholders to follow its lead by voting against Total’s “anti-climate” plan.
Meeschaert is following in the footsteps of OFI AM and PME in voting against Total’s climate strategy (1). The decision, announced a week before Total’s annual general meeting, is all the more important as Meeschaert is one of the three investors in charge of leading Total’s shareholder engagement, on behalf of the CA100+ coalition, which brings together more than 500 investors collectively managing $54 trillion (2). Its decision, which comes before the close of voting next Thursday 27th May, could therefore influence Total’s other shareholders.
“This is a major blow for Total, which has tried to hide its fossil fuel expansion plans behind a well-honed communication strategy. But the momentum building against its anti-climate plan, with Meeschaert’s announcement rapidly following OFI’s, shows that investors are not fooled. It is also a sign that investors can continue shareholder dialogue while voting in line with their climate commitments. We call on other Total shareholders to follow the example of Meeschaert and OFI AM and vote solely according to the recommendations of climate scientists and the IEA,” commented Lucie Pinson, founder and CEO of Reclaim Finance.
In the introduction to its press release, Meeschaert refers to the net zero scenario published by the IEA on Tuesday and concludes by calling on Total to stop investing in new oil and gas projects, to specify its emission reduction targets in absolute rather than relative terms, and to commit to systematically consulting its shareholders on its climate strategy.
Total has no plans to abandon its numerous new oil and gas projects in line with the recommendations of climate scientists and the IEA. Quite the contrary. Total plans to increase its gas production by 30% between 2019 and 2030, and its projections indicate a 50% increase in its hydrocarbon production between 2015 and 2030. Finally, Total still plans to devote 80% of its capital expenditure to oil and gas in 2030, totally failing to align its capex with a 1.5°C trajectory.
In a press release issued yesterday, Crédit Mutuel announced that it will abstain on resolution 14. While this choice demonstrates that Total’s “climate” strategy is not convincing, Reclaim Finance regrets the investor’s position. Faced with the climate emergency, we argue that shareholders cannot sit on the sidelines but must play an active role in the transformation of the largest emitters.