A growing number of French and international financial players are committed to achieving carbon neutrality (net-zero) and aligning their activities with a 1.5°C target. They will only be able to achieve their climate objectives if they push Total to align itself with equivalent transition trajectories. Otherwise, they must exclude the majority of their support. In a context of climate emergency, inaction is not an option. If they opt for this third way, they must be prepared to be judged by history for their failure to act now and push the biggest polluter in the CAC40 towards the exit from fossil fuels.
If they decide to engage Total, banks, insurers and investors should ask the company what its commitments are in terms of reducing its hydrocarbon production and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms, and across all its activities (scope 1+2+3). At present, Total has none.
Last year, 83.2% voted against the climate strategy tabled at Total’s AGM, refusing to break the tragedy of the horizon and the omerta surrounding the group. Their short-termism, contrary to the search for greater resilience of a group of which they are shareholders, jeopardises their own returns on investment. Above all, the opposition of Amundi, AXA, Natixis and others to a historic resolution has cast doubt on the value of their climate commitments. Like BlackRock, these actors talk much but do little.
In 2021, they have the opportunity to align their actions with their words. Given that Total does not need to be encouraged to communicate on its climate strategy, but rather needs to be confronted with specific demands for its alignment with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, they should give priority to filing a new climate resolution rather than a Say on Climate.