25 “carbon bombs” TotalEnergies that will help heat the planet by more than 2 degrees

Gas drilling in the Russian Arctic, huge oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates, threaten projects in Mozambique… According to a study published on May 12 and analyzed by the NGO Reclaim Finance, the French company TotalEnergies is involved in 25 “carbon bombs”. four of which have not (yet) been developed in 2021.

The latter should neither be explored nor used if TotalEnergies, which announced a net profit of $ 16 billion in February, wants to join the zero-carbon trajectory recommended by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Known for its conservative stance, the IEA calls for no longer reaffirming the development of new oil and gas fields from 2021 and investing in renewable energy to control climate change.

The information is extremely important, as the company’s shareholders have to express their opinion on Wednesday, during the annual general meeting, on the report on the group’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality until 2050. 20 minutesTotalEnergies does not wish to comment on this study.

Researchers have found 425 carbon bombs in the world

What is a carbon bomb? This concept identifies the largest fossil fuel projects with potential emissions of more than 1 gigatonne of CO2 over their lifetime. For the first time, researchers have identified 425 worldwide, including 195 oil and gas projects and 230 mining projects. Taken together, all of these projects will undermine the carbon budget available to the planet to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C “twice”, say researchers from Energy policy.

“This study creates a new structure that emphasizes what the gas, oil and coal industries see as as always and shows that this status quo is a problem in the face of a climate emergency, ”said Kjell Kuhne, lead author and PhD student at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. In 2011, he co-founded the Leave it in the Ground campaign to end fossil fuels.

TotalEnergies is involved in 25 projects that pollute the environment

These figures were made possible, in part, by the paid database of Rystad Energy, an independent oil and gas consulting firm based in Norway. The non-governmental organization Reclaim Finance, which has access to this database, analyzed 20 minutes TotalEnergies’ involvement in these carbon bombs. The company is involved in 25 projects with a cumulative potential emission of 59.6 Gt CO2. Russia, China, the Middle East: 13 of them are also located in the regions of concentration of carbon bombs.

Several projects that are already under development will have a significant impact if all their known stocks are used. In Argentina, potential emissions from Vaca Muerta Shale oil and gas reserves are estimated at 5.2 Gt CO2, in the United States emissions from the 100% company-owned Utica Shale project are estimated at 7.7 Gt CO2. , in Changqing in China will reach 4.9 Gt CO2. In the United Arab Emirates, where TotalEnergies is involved in building six carbon bombs, all of these oil and gas projects could emit 16.5 Gt CO2.

“We no longer have to develop new fossil fuel projects”

But the biggest concern with carbon bombs, which researchers say should be “neutralized” as soon as possible, is new projects that have not yet been launched. “According to scientific studies, in the IEA report, as the UN Secretary General reiterates, we should no longer develop new fossil fuel projects, we should no longer invest there,” explains Kjell Kuhne. Current projects can already take us beyond 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C warming. Therefore, it will be necessary to close existing infrastructures before their reserves are depleted. If we build new projects today, they will have to close earlier, and some will lose money. »

In their study, researchers propose a moratorium on these hundreds of new projects, which will avoid a third of potential CO2 emissions. In 2021, TotalEnergies has planned four new “carbon bombs” located in Russia, Brazil and Mozambique, the development of which has not yet begun. “So these are projects that are inconsistent with what the IEA says,” said Guillaume Pottier, reclaim finance’s campaign manager. TotalEnergies or its shareholders would have the right not to develop them. Their cumulative potential emissions reach 5.7 Gt CO2.

“No energy transition”

In the next decade, TotalEnergies plans to invest large sums in fossil fuels, like Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, ExxonMobil or Shell. “There is no energy transition,” said Guillaume Pottier. TotalEnergies will have to demonstrate very quickly that it can reduce fossil fuel production while increasing renewables, which is not the case. »

In 2020, 84% of investments, or $ 11 billion, went to fossil fuels, he said. “During 2022-2025, we are at over 70%, or $ 10.1 billion, which will be spent annually on fossil fuels,” he added. By comparison, the company plans to invest $ 3.5 billion a year in renewable energy during this period. It has set itself the goal of 100 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.

During a thorough investigation into Guardian showed that 12 oil and gas companies, including TotalEnergies, plan to invest millions of dollars daily by 2030 in projects incompatible with warming limited to 1.65 ° C, and even more incompatible with warming limited to 2.7 ° C.

In the Arctic, in Mozambique, projects have been compromised

In the Russian Arctic, one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, the giant Arctic LNG 2 liquefied natural gas project has become particularly controversial since the war in Ukraine. Although TotalEnergies plans to abandon Russian oil by the end of the year, the company has not yet abandoned gas investments, including Yamal LNG, which is already operating, and Arctic LNG 2. In late April, it announced a depreciation. assets of 4.1 billion euros in this project due to sanctions against Moscow.

In Mozambique, three of its gas and oil projects are also suffering from a very tense situation in the country. Development of a € 16.5 billion liquefied natural gas project began in 2020. But after a jihadist attack on Cabo Delgado, TotalEnergies suspended it in April 2021. In Brazil, Libra, discovered a huge offshore oil field. in the Atlantic Ocean there is another project off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Operation of part of this giant deepwater field began in 2017 in preparation for production under the name Mero.

“TotalEnergies strategy still not in line with the Paris Agreement”

However, TotalEnergies is protecting its investment and wants to continue its development throughout the liquefied gas chain. She points to 20 minutes that in 2050 fossil fuels should not exceed 25% of its energy balance, and that, therefore, it will “correspond to the landing point of the IEA scenario”. According to the Climate Action 100+ coalition of investors, which notes the climate efforts of the biggest polluters, TotalEnergies has not yet decarbonized its capital expenditures, despite the fact that the company has set neutral carbon ambitions by 2050.

Over the past two years, a small group of shareholders has insisted that the company become more significant. “We believe that TotalEnergies’ strategy is still not in line with the Paris Agreement,” he said. 20 minutesEdmond de Rothschild AM Investment Fund, pointing out that TotalEnergies does not have a quantitative target for an absolute reduction in other indirect emissions (known as Sphere 3) globally by 2030. remain globally stable, which is incompatible with various IPCC scientific scenarios and recommendations, ”the foundation added.

Eleven shareholders wanted to pass a resolution to the CEO this Wednesday so that TotalEnergies would commit to a climate strategy with goals in line with the Paris Agreement, which was rejected by the board. “This absolutely does not take into account the extreme state of the climate,” – sums up Edmond de Rothschild AM.