1. Decarbonization targets
- TotalEnergies reaffirms its commitment to emit less in 2030 than in 2015, specifying that in 2030 its scope 3 emissions will be less than 400 MtCO2 compared to 410 MtCO2 in 2015, i.e an emission reduction of 2.5% over 15 years (and already achieved in 2020 and 2021).
- TotalEnergies announces a 30% reduction in scope 3 emissions on oil by 2030. This objective is less impressive than it sounds since TotalEnergie’s plans to ramp-up fossil gas production will cancel out its efforts on oil. Over the 2015-2021 period, the decrease in oil emissions was almost matched the increase in gas emissions (which almost doubled over the period). Reducing emissions from oil therefore does not significantly reduce the group’s emissions. In addition, TotalEnergies’ oil production is set to increase until 2025 and remain high until 2030 (1.4 Mb/day).
- TotalEnergies announces an ambitious target to reduce its methane emissions by 80% between 2021 and 2030, consistent with the IEA recommendations and European targets. However, this effort should be put into perspective because methane emissions linked to operations and equities represent less than 1% of the company’s total emissions.
In total, for all scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, TotalEnergies’ emissions will decrease by a mere 5.8% to 6.7% between 2015 and 2030. This contrasts sharply with the imperative of halving global emissions by 2030 in order to stay on a 1.5°C pathway.
2. TotalEnergies’ investment and production plan
- Total did not announce any changes in its investment strategy. The company still plans to allocate more than 70% of its CAPEX to fossil fuels until 2030.
- TotalEnergies is massively investing in gas. The company will increase gas production by 50% by 2030 from 2015 levels, and plans to double gas sales between 2019 and 2030. TotalEnergies also plans to increase “low carbon” LNG production by 22% by 2025. Gas will also play an important role in TotalEnergie’s electricity production – gas-fired power plants are described as being an integral part of the transition to clean energies – as well as hydrogen. The company stresses that gas will contribute to one third of the projected reduction in carbon intensity by 2030. However, this does not mean TotalEnergies is moving away from fossil fuels and aligning with 1.5°C.
- TotalEnergies downplays its capacity and responsibility to reduce emissions. The major acknowledges the “normative” role of the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario but refuses to draw the concrete, short-term strategic and operational lessons implied by that scenario, particularly when it comes to stopping the development of new fossil fuel production projects. TotalEnergies ranks among the 10 biggest oil and gas developers worldwide according to the Global Oil and Gas Exit List but has not demonstrated willingness to give up on any of those developments. In fact, despite numerous calls to stop the EACOP XXL oil pipeline because of its human, environmental and climate impacts, TotalEnergies is moving forward with it. In the report, the company stresses that the IEA scenario does not reflect current and business as usual levels of oil and gas demand. Total also makes clear that its carbon neutrality target by 2050 will be achieved “together with society”, deflecting responsibility on consumers.
- TotalEnergies increases the share of Carbon Capture and Storage and offsetting in its climate plan. By 2030, the major will be capturing 10 Mt per annum via technological solutions and 5 Mt via “nature-based” solutions. The company also plans to develop CCS for its gas power plants. By 2050, CCS would reach 110 Mt per year, the equivalent of 25% of its current CO2 emission (447 Mt in 2020 and 2021).
TotalEnergies remains actively involved in pro-gas and pro-offsetting lobbying efforts that could slow down climate action. The major selects and assesses the impact of partners and interest groups in promoting fossil gas as a transition fuel, and the development of carbon offsetting. Both fossil gas and offsetting contribute significantly to delaying the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.