Total has withdrawn from the American Petroleum Institute (API), citing differences over API’s position on climate change.
The French energy giant said this followed a detailed analysis of API’s climate change position, whereafter it decided not to renew its membership for 2021.
Total said it assesses all industry associations it is a member of each year to ensure they are aligned with the group’s climate change position.
The six key points it uses to test this alignment are:
- Total’s science-based position that the link between human activity and climate change is an established fact,
- Total’s support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
- Belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing.
- Confidence in the key role that natural gas plays in the energy transition.
- Support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy.
- Total support for the development of CO2 capture and storage.
Total said that following the 2019 and 2020 reviews, API’s positions were assessed as “partially aligned” with those of the Group. Certain divergences, which have been discussed within the association, remain today.
Total said that regarding the role of natural gas, API maintains its support for the rollback of U.S. regulation on methane emissions, which the Group opposed in November 2019;
Regarding transport decarbonization, API is part of the Transportation Fairness Alliance, which is opposed to subsidies for electric vehicles.
Regarding the carbon pricing principle, API expresses differing positions to those of Total.
Moreover, API gave its support during the recent elections to (Donald Trump-aligned) candidates who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement.
“The Group acknowledges the API’s considerable contribution, for over a century, to the development of our industry. Nevertheless, as part of our Climate Ambition made public in May 2020, we are committed to ensuring, in a transparent manner, that the industry associations of which we are a member adopt positions and messages that are aligned with those of the Group in the fight against climate change”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.
“This transparency responds to our stakeholders’ expectations, as well as being an essential guarantee of the credibility of our strategy.”