TotalEnergies’ investor days are being held today and tomorrow, in a context marked by the energy crisis and the debates on “superprofits”. On this occasion, Reclaim Finance and Climate Votes (1) reveal which of Total’s shareholders approved its “climate” plan in May, which includes the development of many new oil and gas projects and thus goes against the recommendations to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The French major is also facing legal action (2) for failing to meet its climate due diligence obligations and was targeted in a European Parliament resolution this month for human rights violations in relation to its EACOP and Tilenga projects in East Africa (3).

Reclaim Finance and Climate Votes accessed information from the Insightia database, which aggregates votes at shareholders’ meetings and voting justifications (4). As not all investors publish this information, the data available through Insightia remains partial. However, it is sufficient to identify trends. The following conclusions are drawn from an analysis of 221 investors.

Largest TotalEnergies’ shareholders vote against climate

Among the largest investors, a minority, including LGIM, Nordea and Schroders, voted against TotalEnergies’ climate plan at the last AGM. Meanwhile, the majority of shareholders (5), including Amundi, AXA IM, BNP Paribas AM and BlackRock (6), approved the plan, despite their commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

As a reminder, TotalEnergies is the 7th company in the world to plan the largest number of new oil and gas projects (7). Far from bringing investors closer to their climate objectives, this vote goes against what is expected of them as Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative (NZAM) (8) members: namely, to adopt a transition plan by June 2023 with guarantees on how they support the end of fossil fuel expansion and work towards a fossil fuel phase out (9).

Among the few that abstained, two other major investors appear: Aviva Investors and DWS.

Sample of TotalEnergies shareholder votes:

Asset managers Votes on TotalEnergies’ climate plan
(“For”, “Against”, “Abstain”)
Allianz Global Investors For
Amundi For
BlackRock Inc. For*
BNP Paribas Asset Management For
Capital Group For
DWS Investement GmbH Abstain*
HSBC Global Asset Management For*
Legal & General Investment Management Against
Nordea Bank Oyj Against
Schroders PLC Against
T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc For
UBS Asset Management For*

*For the majority of their assets under management.

Votes ‘against’: using voting power to drive climate action

Common concerns emerge among shareholders who abstained or voted against TotalEnergies’ climate plan. We summarized them:

  • Fossil fuel production is increasing and new projects are still being developed.
  • There is a lack of information to assess the company’s strategy. In particular, there is no clear absolute target for Scope 3 emissions.
  • The targets / CAPEX plans are not aligned with a 1.5°C scenario.

TotalEnergies’ most controversial project, EACOP, is the tip of the iceberg of the company’s expansion plans. The major’s strategy, which some investors believe is ahead of its European peers, is nevertheless the one that plans the most new oil and gas supply projects. These new projects mean that the share of renewables in its energy mix will be limited to less than 15% by 2030. Investors are also rightly concerned that TotalEnergies’ commitments are not science-based and will not contribute to limiting warming to 1.5°C. In the short term, more than 70% of the company’s investments are focused on oil and gas. As a result, TotalEnergies will have emitted 31.8% more GHG than its share of the remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C (10).

Votes ‘for’: breaching net-zero commitments for more dividends

On the other side of the picture, investors who voted for the “climate” plan justified their vote via one of these reasons:

  • The strategy is progressing and TotalEnergies allows them to vote on it annually.
  • The climate strategy is among the best practices in the market and TotalEnergies is “less bad” than the other majors.
  • TotalEnergies invests in low-carbon solutions, alternative energy sources and low-carbon technologies.
  • TotalEnergies’ targets are credible / aligned with a 1.5°C trajectory / aligned with the Paris Agreement.

These justifications, and in particular the first three, show that investors almost automatically endorse oil and gas majors’ climate plans, even when they are not compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.  Indeed:

  1. Approving a plan on the grounds of being consulted and of transparency skews the meaning of “Say on Climate” resolutions.
  2. Approving a plan because of its relative performance compared to other companies in the sector boils down to putting climate risk management ahead of climate action.
  3. Approving a plan by focusing on partial criteria (in this case, “low-carbon” investments) means acknowledging the failure of the Paris Agreement, whose success depends on action at all levels.

As for reason 4, one can only deplore the double talk of shareholders who make such a statement when their collective analysis of TotalEnergies’ commitments concludes that the French major’s strategy is not aligned (11). As a reminder, Amundi, BlackRock, and BNP AM have committed to reducing their emissions by 50% by 2030, while TotalEnergies is only planning to reduce its emissions by 6 to 7% by 2030.

As the dual inflationary and energy crisis urges us to organize a fossil fuel phase out, the investors that blindly support TotalEnergies today may tomorrow be held accountable for their responsibility in climate chaos and resulting social and economic injustices. 


  1.  Climate Votes is a global initiative comprised of climate finance specialists engaging with institutional investors to use their shareholder power for real climate action.
  2.  16 local authorities and 6 associations are taking TotalEnergies to court and asking the Paris Court of Justice to order TotalEnergies to acknowledge the risks generated by its activities and to require it to adopt GHG emission trajectories that are compatible with international climate objectives.
  3.   On 15 September 2022, the European Parliament adopted an urgent resolution denouncing the human rights violations and major environmental and climate risks caused by the Tilenga and EACOP projects, respectively an oil field and a 1400 km heated pipeline, developed by TotalEnergies in Uganda and Tanzania.
  4.   Reclaim Finance calls on all investors to publish these two elements clearly on their website and to include them in a detailed public voting policy, in order to make their expectations clear.
  5.  68% of TotalEnergies’ investors in our sample voted for its climate plan.
  6.   Except for two BlackRock funds that voted against TotalEnergies’ climate plan.
  7.   According to the Global Oil and Gas Exit List.
  8.   Of TotalEnergies’ 10 largest shareholders, all but one are members of NZAM.
  9.  According to the new Race To Zero criteria updated in July 2022.
  10.  See our analysis Major Failure
  11.  According to the CA100+ company assessments.