by A. Fawthrop, Feb 23, 2021 in NSEnergy
Divesting from major oil and gas producers on grounds of climate change makes “little sense”, says Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné, because other companies will simply pick up the excess production.
The boss of the French energy firm urged investors and shareholders to support “big players with large balance sheets and financial capacity” because without them the low-carbon energy transition will not “become a reality”.
Stakeholder pressure on the world’s top oil companies is increasing amid heightened concerns over their contribution to climate change and demands for decisive action to reduce emissions across the energy industry.
Many oil and gas firms, including Total, have outlined recent ambitions to gradually pivot away from fossil energy in favour of electrification and alternative fuels.
But public scrutiny remains strong, with warnings of divesting if shareholders do not feel these plans are going far or fast enough, or the business risks associated with climate change are not being adequately addressed.
Oil and gas demand won’t disappear soon, and divesting would leave production for others to take up
Speaking at the IP Week conference today (23 February), Pouyanné called for patience from investors while making a pitch for the role companies like Total have to play in the low-carbon energy transition.