French oil major Total has announced it will let its membership of the American Petroleum Institute (API) lapse due to disparities over climate change policies.
While Total said that the API’s position had converged with its own in recent years, it said substantial differences still existed. These include API’s support for US election candidates opposed to participation by the US in the Paris Agreement, its support for watering down US methane-emission regulations and the industry body’s membership of another group opposing subsidies for electric vehicles.
According to Oil Price, Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO and chairman of Total, said:
“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.”
While Total has its roots in oil production and derived products like hydraulic oil, it is looking to diversify into more renewable energy, as well as grow its business in liquefied natural gas, which is commonly seen as a transition fuel in the move towards net-zero carbon emissions. Only 5% of the company’s energy mix is currently from renewables, with oil and gas accounting for 55% and 40%, respectively.
In September, Pouyanné told Le Parisien, a French newspaper, that he expects oil’s contributions to decrease to 20%, with gas remaining stable and renewables rising to 40%, potentially making Total one of the top five producers of renewable energy.