Total drops API over climate change differences

By Jack Burke15 January 2021

Company cites Paris Agreement, carbon pricing among factors

Citing differences over climate change, French petrochemical company Total is will not renew its membership in the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Following a detailed analysis of the climate positions of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Total announces its decision not to renew its membership for 2021.

“Each year, Total assesses the main industry associations of which it is a member to ensure they are aligned with the Group’s climate positions,” the company said in a news release. “This alignment review is based on six key points:

1. our science-based position that the link between human activity and climate change is an established fact,

2. our support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement,

3. our belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing,

4. our confidence in the key role that natural gas plays in the energy transition,

5. our support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy, and

6. our support for the development of CO2 capture and storage.

According to Total, API’s positions in are conflict with the company’s goals. Regarding the role of natural gas, API maintains its support for the rollback of U.S. regulation on methane emissions. API is also part of the Transportation Fairness Alliance, which is opposed to subsidies for electric vehicles and, unlike Total, API opposes carbon pricing.

“Moreover, API gave its support during the recent elections to candidates who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement,” the company said.

“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.”

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