The Ministry of the Economy will have to think carefully before rendering its decision at the end of May on possible support from the French state to the oil company Total. In fact, a budget of 700 million euros is planned for the exploitation of gigantic liquefied natural gas fields in the Arctic in collaboration with the Russian gas company Novatek. Project that we mentioned in our article of May 16 .
For some time now, the Total group has aroused a wave of anger and movements of disapproval against group industrial projects around the world have been increasing. A new example occurred yesterday, Thursday May 21, when three NGOs deposited in front of the Ministry of the Economy, ten blocks of ice cut in the shapes of 700,000,000 euros. The message sent to the government is clear: it is out of the question for the French state to provide any financial assistance to a company whose activity threatens a weakened region of the world and, by the same token, the earth as a whole. "The objective of the project is to produce and export the equivalent of seven billion barrels of oil," says the NGO side and Clémence Dubois, campaign manager in France for 350.org., Adds that: "finance today 'hui the extension of Total in the Arctic is criminal ” .
In more measured words, it is the same message that certain shareholders of the Total group sent to Mr Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total (soon Total Energies). Maeschaert Asset Management and Crédit Mutuel, to name but a few, have decided to vote against the climate resolution presented by Total management. Not for lack of will on the part of the group to act in the direction of greater respect for the environment, but rather too much slowness in their implementation. Total is criticized for not going fast enough. The shareholders of the group expect stronger actions that prove the determination of the oil company to agree to the Paris Agreement.
Even if it is not yet completely satisfied, Total management points out that it has shown a strong start to change strategies in its activities. However, this is not enough and does not convince. In the eyes of NGOs and the public, Total is still a polluter and a danger to the environment. As for the shareholders, the group's share of investments in fossil fuels is still far too high compared to that engaged in renewable energies.
The NGOs recall the urgency to act quickly: "It is 30 ° C in the Arctic at the moment, the decisions taken here have catastrophic consequences on the other side of the planet" . It is true that the various signals sent from this region of the world are not really reassuring. A future article will focus on the accelerated warming of the Arctic over the past four decades.
A situation that is still quite complicated for Total. We have to admit it. You can fully understand the urgency and demonstrate your best wishes, but you also have to deal with reality. And the reality for Total is to supply its customers with the energies of the moment which are the only ones able to meet the strong global demand, namely oil and gas. Even if the energy transition is progressing and the share of clean energy is growing, how can we do without fossil fuels entirely? At least until 2030 according to Mr Pouyanné.
France will soon enter a year of electoral campaign and if the political leaders currently in business, who will not be running for a second term, do not want to further accentuate the perception, within public opinion, of a Huge gap between benevolent declarations of climatic intentions and at least questionable decisions, it would be high time to show a certain consistency and perhaps a certain courage.