Photo: Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné; Source: Total

Total parts ways with American Petroleum Institute over differences in climate positions

French energy giant Total has decided to withdraw from the American Petroleum Institute (API) following a detailed analysis of API’s climate positions.

Each year, Total assesses the main industry associations of which it is a member to ensure they are aligned with its climate positions, the French company said on Friday.

This alignment review is based on six key points. These include Total’s science-based position that the link between human activity and climate change is an established fact, its support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and its belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing.

Furthermore, Total’s other key points include its confidence in the key role that natural gas plays in the energy transition, its support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy, and the support for the development of CO2 capture and storage.

Last year, oil major BP also made a similar move to Total’s after announcing its decision to leave three U.S.-based organizations in an effort to reach its target of becoming a net-zero company by 2050.

According to Total, following the 2019 and 2020 reviews, API’s positions were assessed as “partially aligned” with those of the company.

Certain divergences, which have been discussed within the association, remain today and these are regarding the role of natural gas, where API maintains its support for the rollback of U.S. regulation on methane emissions, which Total opposed in November 2019.

In addition, the divergences are regarding transport decarbonization. Namely, API is part of the Transportation Fairness Alliance, which is opposed to subsidies for electric vehicles.

The divergences are also regarding the carbon pricing principle where API expresses differing positions to those of Total.

Moreover, Total noted that API gave its support during the recent elections to candidates who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, said: “The Group acknowledges the API’s considerable contribution, for over a century, to the development of our industry.

“Nevertheless, as part of our Climate Ambition made public in May 2020, we are committed to ensuring, in a transparent manner, that the industry associations of which we are a member adopt positions and messages that are aligned with those of the Group in the fight against climate change”.

As previously reported, Total is working to transform itself into a broad energy company as part of its efforts to become a leader in the renewable energy sector and get to net-zero by 2050.

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