Carbon intensity of Total's primary energy mix versus the energy mix outlined in the 2C scenario, projected to 2035. Graphic: Total

[cf. Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges – ‘We’ve binged to the edge of our own destruction’]

By Megan Darby
24 May 2016

(Climate Change News) – Total is slashing expensive oil ventures in line with international efforts to hold global warming below 2C.

The French oil major is reducing its exposure to tar sands and avoiding the Arctic ice pack. When deciding where to drill, it assumes a carbon price of US$30-40 a tonne.

That was revealed in a strategy paper [pdf] published to coincide with Tuesday’s AGM, in the clearest industry acknowledgment to date of the risks of unfettered exploration.

“The 2C scenario highlights that a part of the world’s fossil fuel resources cannot be developed. Total’s growth strategy takes this into account,” the document stated.

Breakdown of global oil production under the 2C scenario, 2000-2035. Graphic: Total

In a foreword, chief executive Patrick Pouyanne emphasised the significance of the Paris Agreement in shaping the company’s business plans.

“COP21 was definitely a watershed,” he said. “Despite the current instability worldwide, 195 countries managed to unite around an ambitious climate agreement. That sends a strong message.”

The firm is basing its investment decisions around the International Energy Agency’s 2C scenario. That still sees oil and gas making up nearly half the energy mix in 2035.

But “strict investment discipline is vital,” Pouyanne said, to avoid wasting money on costly resources that may be surplus to requirements.

He also aims to ramp up renewables, notably solar and biofuels, to form 20% of the company’s portfolio in 20 years’ time. [more]

Total rules out Arctic oil drilling, citing 2C goal


  1. Olivier Del Rio said...

    At first glancce, it seems more likely that Total has found a good excuse. Even without climate target, arctic drilling is extremely risky and probably more of a sink than source of money ( see Shell and its epic fail in 2012...) Total is trying to reorientate itself toward renewables more because we are nearing peak oil and because now renewables are a bit less expensive and risky than drilling in weird and remote locations. I think it is way more likely that Total climate argument is more a convinient way of painting realities, than a real growing awarness. Besides this, peak oil is here and renewables are not a long term solution, and the Total new heading is wrong way in long term, will only help in the next few years  


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