Climate: Total gives in to demands from major investors

Posted Apr 22, 2022, 6:17 PM

TotalEnergies and its shareholders have found common ground. A group of 12 management companies and French institutional investors (including Meeschaert Amilton AM, Erafp, La Financière de l’Echiquier, etc.) announced on Friday that they had withdrawn a draft resolution on the climate. The text was filed on April 8 for the general meeting (GA) of the energy company on May 25. La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM) played a decisive role in the withdrawal of this text.

After discussions with its shareholders, TotalEnergies has made new climate commitments. The oil group has notably promised to publish “objectives for the absolute and relative reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” in the short (2025) and medium term (2030).

All direct and indirect emissions

This promise encompasses all direct and indirect emissions (scopes 1 to 3) and covers “all the company’s activities”, as well as the “evolution of the energy mix”. TotalEnergies is committed to communicating the work carried out “with third parties to assess the relevance of these objectives with regard to the implementation of the Paris agreement”. The company will also submit its climate strategy annually to the advisory vote of its shareholders, beyond the “Say on Climate” scheduled for May.

TotalEnergies thus displays its “desire to promote shareholder dialogue and transparency”. “We are satisfied with these advances, even if we would have preferred TotalEnergies to commit to a scenario of global warming of 1.5°C and not to that of less than 2° provided for in the Paris agreement”, explains Aurélie Baudhuin, director of SRI research (socially responsible investment) at Meeschaert Amilton AM.

The 12 signatories had decided to table a resolution after the publication, on March 24, of the TotalEnergies climate report. “This report brought us satisfaction, particularly in the scope 3 field of study, but the new objectives still seemed insufficient to us”, specifies the representative of Meeschaert Amilton.

Climate strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement

Meeschaert Amilton is one of the three management companies in charge of dialogue with the group, within the international coalition Climate Action 100 +, with Federated Hermes and the Dutch MN. The latter filed another shareholder resolution on TotalEnergies, alongside ten investors including the French Edmond de Rothschild AM and La Financière de l’Echiquier. The text goes beyond the transparency requirements of the first coalition. He asks the oil group that its activity report, on which the shareholders must decide, include a climate strategy aligned with the Paris agreement. It remains to be seen whether the Board of Directors will validate this resolution so that it can be presented to the GA.

In April 2020, 11 French investors filed the very first climate resolution in France, already on TotalEnergies. Last year, the group pulled the rug out from under shareholders by offering its first “Say on Climate”. This climate plan had received 91.87% of votes in favor, despite the abstention or the vote against by several leading investors.

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