Despite tight security ahead of the event, activists from environmental NGOs – including Greenpeace, Alternatiba, ANV Cop 21 and Friends of the Earth – blocked the main access to the Salle Pleyel in Paris, where the ‘AG.
“Totally irresponsible” or “we are here, even if Total does not want us, we are here”, shouted the activists under the smoke bombs, noted AFP journalists.
Some sat on the ground handcuffed to each other, while others unfurled a large banner “stop fossil fuel projects”, removed by security. They also denounce the presence of the group in Russia, where it operates in particular liquefied natural gas.
The NGOs are calling for “concrete and immediate commitments” from TotalEnergies (…) and the end of all new fossil fuel projects”. Shareholders must be convinced to “vote against TotalEnergies’ false climate plan”, had indicated before the action Eva Sadoun, co-president of the Impact France movement.
From inside too, anger is brewing: several small shareholders are determined to influence the group’s climate orientation, a movement observed in many large companies in France, the United States and elsewhere this season, whether in the energy sector, banks or others. Shell’s GA on Tuesday was suspended for two hours because of activists inside.
A collective of TotalEnergies shareholders, representing 0.78% of the capital, had tabled a resolution asking the group to comply with the Paris climate agreement, a resolution which will not ultimately be on the agenda, the board of directors having rejected it.
The group had explained that it was legally for the board of directors to define “the strategy, particularly in terms of energy transition”, according to a statement to AFP.
The collective had seized the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), which declared itself last Wednesday not competent.
Among these shareholders, Edmond de Rothschild or La Financière de l’Echiquier, not particularly known for their shareholder activism, as well as the Dutch MN. After the AMF’s response, everyone announced that they would vote against the climate plan submitted to shareholders.
A fight in which they were joined on Tuesday by Assurances du Crédit Mutuel.
In question: the anticipation by TotalEnergies of a “sharp increase in the production of hydrocarbons over 2019-2030” but also the regret that “the surpluses resulting from the current high prices of hydrocarbons are not allocated as a priority to additional investments in the renewable”, according to Assurances du Crédit Mutuel.
The group made an exceptional profit of 16 billion dollars last year.
-New green acquisition-
TotalEnergies says it is aiming, like many companies, for carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, and is committed, among other objectives, to reducing by more than 30%, compared to 2015, the emissions released by products. tankers it sells. And it invests in renewables.
As a demonstration, the multinational announced a few hours before its AGM that it had acquired 50% of the American producer of renewable energies Clearway Energy Group, touting the “largest acquisition in renewable energies in the United States, one of the three main markets renewables in the world”.
But the major continues to say that it wants to continue to meet the demand for gas and oil as long as there is, and that it will continue to develop new fields. Its CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, only said that TotalEnergies’ oil production peak would be reached in the 2020s, believing that an immediate shutdown would be drastic.
In this context, it is likely that the resolution relating to the climate plan – very widely adopted last year with 92% of the votes – will again be easily approved, especially since the major shareholders, the investment funds BlackRock or Vanguard as well as Axa insurance or BNPParibas, did not communicate their vote upstream.
Another group of shareholders had indeed filed a resolution, but had finally withdrawn it, believing that they had received the expected responses, with the announcement of the publication of a certain number of indicators.