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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

why TotalEnergies’ efforts are considered insufficient

TotalEnergies can it do more to develop renewable energies? The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, on Friday called on the oil group to go “ faster on the development of renewable energies (ENR), while environmental activists tried to prevent the holding of the general meeting of its shareholders the same day in Paris. ” Total invests in renewable energiesassured the minister on franceinfo. But the challenge is to go faster, stronger and above all faster. “She thus called on the energy specialist to” put the package on renewables.

In an interview with the newspaper The cross on Wednesday, the group’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, felt that there was ” always a lot of “there’s only” “. ” But we are progressing very quickly: 1 billion euros invested in low carbon energies in 2020, 2 billion in 2021, 4 in 2022, 5 in 2023… We cannot go faster “, he listed, anticipating the criticism and the exit of the Minister of Energy Transition. ” You have to find the projects, the land, the people, with, in addition, in Europe an environmental authorization system that takes twice as long as elsewhere. “, he justified.

TotalEnergies wants to multiply its renewable energy production by 6

Solicited by the JDD, the group’s communication boasts of investing 1 billion euros more each year in renewable energies. ” Our activities today are mainly oil and gas, but the dynamic initiated takes us towards a multi-energy company, whose heart of activity in the long term will be more electricity, in particular renewable “says the group.

In 2023, 25% of the company’s investments will be dedicated to renewable energies and electricity. Its installed capacity of renewable electricity production worldwide stood at 17 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2022. Total’s objective is to reach 35 GW in 2025, and 100 GW in 2030.

TotalEnergies, however, reports difficulties for ” identify projects, which are profitable and which can be integrated and connected to the networks “. With regard to France, the group points to an authorization system whose procedures ” are very long, which delays the implementation of projects “.

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Another difficulty: the still strong demand for oil. ” We are developing our offer but there is a demand opposite, so if we are completely decorrelated from this demand, that is a problem. “says the group, believing that” if TotalEnergies became 100% renewable today, someone else would produce the oil we still need “.

The oil group accused of “greenwashing”

Despite its stated ambitions in renewable energies, TotalEnergies is regularly accused of “ greenwashing by environmental NGOs. In other words, the oil group is accused of using renewables as a misleading argument, in order to give itself an eco-responsible image.

A judicial investigation was opened in December 2021 against TotalEnergies for “ misleading business practices in the field of the environment, after three associations (Wild Legal, Sea Shepherd France and Darwin Climax Coalitions) filed a complaint against the group in October 2020, accusing it of air degradation.

From the point of view of the climate emergency, whether TotalEnergies invests heavily in renewable energies or not, it does not matterestimates Maxime Combes, economist with the Observatory of the multinationals and former spokesman of Attac France. What matters is that TotalEnergies stops investing in fossil fuels. »

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), published in May 2021, called for no further investment in new oil or gas installations in order to meet the objective of carbon neutrality in 2050. An imperative recalled in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Another 70% investment in fossil fuels

By 2025, TotalEnergies will open the equivalent of 18 new coal-fired power plants, simply with its oil and gas investments planned between 2022 and 2025 “says the economist. ” Which necessarily leads us beyond a global warming of 1.5 degrees “, he adds.

While he recognizes that TotalEnergies’ investments in renewables ” increase significantly as a percentage “, It is ” because they start from very very low “. Maxime Combes deplores the maintenance of ” 70% of TotalEnergies’ investments in fossil fuels, so that its gas and oil production will have to increase by 8% by 2030 “.

TotalEnergies argues that it is the profits from hydrocarbons that allow it to invest massively in renewable energies. But according to the former member of Attac France, ” this is not correct “. ” Between 2021 and 2022, TotalEnergies’ profits have increased from 14 billion to 20 billion euros. At the same time, investments in renewable energies have only increased from 3 to 4 billion euros “, he details. Dividends increased by 3 billion euros » over the same period, i.e. « three times more than the increase in investments in renewable energies “, points the finger at the economist.

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