Arctic drilling not compatible with climate targets: Total

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Oil company Total turns away from the Arctic. But remains part of major Russian projects in the region. Photo: Novatek.ru
Oil company Total turns away from the Arctic. But remains part of major Russian projects in the region. Photo: Novatek.ru
It will not conduct oil exploration or production operations in the Arctic ice pack, the French oil major underlines in its new company strategy.

The document, presented ahead of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting last week, outlines a major shift in company positions on climate issues.

“Our ambition for Total in 2035 is consistent with the IEA’s 2°C scenario,” chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné says in the report entitled Integrating Climate in Our Strategy.

“COP21 was definitely a watershed, there will be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ the COP21,” he adds.

“Keeping the global temperature rise below 2°C is a challenge everyone must meet,” Pouyanné underlines.

Investment in alternative energy

Total intends to significantly step up its investments in alternative energy generation. In 20 years’ time, renewables, notably solar and biofuels, are to form 20 percent of the company’s portfolio. However, at least 50 per cent of the company activities will remain based on oil and gas, the document reads.

The document confirms that Total will “not conduct oil exploration or production operations in the Arctic ice pack,”

“This is the clearest industry acknowledgement to date of the risks of unfettered exploration,” Climate Change News reports .

Consequently, the French oil major is not on the list of awardees to new licenses in Norwegian Arctic waters. The company remains, however, a significant stakeholder in the Russian Arctic. In the Yamal LNG project, Total holds a 20-per cent stake. Previously, the company worked hard to implement the Shtokman project, the huge gas fields in the Russian part of the Barents Sea.

During the COP21, Total was among the companies that signed the Paris Pledge for Action declaration.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Trudeau and Obama’s Arctic endeavours, Deutsche Welle Ice-Blog

Finland: Experts question Finland’s energy decisions, data, Yle News

Norway:  Nobel Peace Prize winners call for halt to Arctic drilling, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Spilled oil spreads into more rivers, fuels popular discontent, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  Will Sweden be able to produce enough energy in the future?, Radio Sweden

United States: Shell isn’t the only oil company leaving Alaska’s Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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