French energy giant Total to hold annual general meeting

Total S.A., the world’s fourth largest oil and gas company, will hold its annual shareholder conference today. Nearly a dozen

France MiddleEastMonitor

Photo: Middle East Monitor

Total S.A., the world’s fourth largest oil and gas company, will hold its annual shareholder conference today. Nearly a dozen stockholders representing $840 billion in assets and 1.35% of Total’s shares are expected to demand that the French oil giant implement stricter carbon emission reduction goals.

Hundreds of companies in countries signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement have set goals for complete carbon emission reduction by 2050, but many are failing to adhere to their goals. While some industries such as utilities are seeing a significant shift toward renewable energy generation, others such as construction are growing faster than relevant technology.

Total has asserted that it is ahead of the curve set by other oil giants, and that it will adhere to the strict guideline of total European emission reduction by 2050. As the firm’s global operations represent around 30% of current revenue, some investors claim that this policy is insufficiently stringent and will encourage Total to shift their emissions abroad.

As investor sentiment shifts towards firms that exhibit socially responsible policies, major firms like Total could struggle to attract investment capital. Investors will not want to place assets in firms that fail to account for operational climate risk in revenue projections, and these firms could fail to maintain their competitive edge.

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