Meeting the sustainable energy need of a growing global population
In May 2021, our Company, Total, became TotalEnergies, with a clear commitment to transform itself into a broad energy company during the decade 2020-2030 in order to reach our ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050 together with society by supplying to our customers a new mix of low carbon energies. The change in name reflects a major turning point in the history of the Company and the new ambition and strategy have been overwhelmingly approved by 92% of our stakeholders during our last General Assembly.
A profound desire within our society and a sense of urgency regularly called for by climate experts, as the recent IPCC report again illustrated last summer, triggered this decisive move.
Our ambition is to meet the needs of a growing population – nearly 10 billion inhabitants in 2050 – in an increasingly sustainable way.
After having ranked among the five major private companies in Oil and Gas, this means we must heavily invest in not two but seven energies including electricity, hydrogen, biomass, wind and solar energies, with the aim of being among the top 5 Renewable energy providers worldwide by 2030.
This strategy, in line with the 2050 Net Zero Emissions goal endorsed by more and more countries around the world, relies on systematic decarbonization of our production and decisive increase of our investments in low carbon and renewable energies. These energies will be the only ones benefiting from an increase in our investments in the decade to come. This year our investments in renewable energies and power alone represent up to 3 billion dollars.
By 2030 massive changes will therefore already be on the way in the sales mix of our Company: petroleum products, from 55% in 2020, will be down to 30%, gas and green gas will increase and account for 50%, electricity, mostly renewable, for 15%, and other energies – biofuels, biogas, hydrogen – 5%.
As an illustration of this ambition, in electricity our renewable capacity will grow from 8GW in 2021 to 35 GW by 2025 and 100 GW by 2030. This represents the financing of an investment of more than 60 billion dollars in renewable projects within ten years.
Our challenge will be to provide more energy with less emissions, when the energy sector is globally responsible for around two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, in an always more sustainable manner. Because energy and climate challenges are not separable from sustainability challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation, biodiversity, water or ethics.
For a Company which has a global footprint like ours, achieving these goals together with society requires to adapt our strategy, while maintaining everywhere our raison d’être to supply as many people as possible with a more affordable, increasingly available and cleaner energy.
In the European Union, which is responsible for 8% only of CO2 emissions on our planet, the focus is and will be on decarbonization. With deep roots in Europe – which accounts today for roughly 60% of our sales -, TotalEnergies is proud to be part of the deep movement of reinvention of energy in which the European Union has decided to play a leading role.
In emerging markets, we must first fulfill the needs for access to energy in a world where close to 1 billion people today have no electricity and where the thirst for economic and social development is enormous and justified. In these areas which are responsible for an important share of global green gas emissions, substituting coal with gas has started and must be encouraged as an obvious quick win.
Decarbonization is not enough. Across the world, sustainability will be at the core of TotalEnergies strategy as we believe it to be key for success. We must take into account the necessity of a just transition in the transformation of the energy supply.
For our Company, supplying energy in this context will therefore go hand in hand with contributing to improving living standards and we believe it is crucial to act particularly in four areas stemming from the UN Sustainability development goals : transforming the energy model; being a leader in the well-being of people through responsible working practices, ensuring people health and safety, and ensuring human rights; being determined to be exemplary in terms of environment management and in the use of the planet’s natural resources; and creating value for society and shared prosperity across regions.
To combat climate change, the European Union, through the Green Deal and its law on climate, has decided to position itself at the forefront of Net Zero emissions ambitions. So does TotalEnergies in Europe. For the next decade the Company’s target is to decrease its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1+2+3) by 30% by 2030 compared to 2015. To that end we must and will reduce the emissions from our own operations. But, as 90% of our emissions are indirect and stem from the activity of our customers (Scope 3), it requires also considerable changes and investments to broaden the choices we offer to our customers.
For that purpose, we invest in new mobility especially by developing and operating Electric vehicles charge points networks as we will do in Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, London, Rotterdam, but also Singapore. With the support of the EU Commission and of the various Governments, TotalEnergies has created, together with French and German car manufacturers, the Automotive Cell Company in order to develop and produce Europe’s own electric batteries for future EVs; and we are on the way to build charging hubs along highways and around cities, which will be crucial for a credible development of EVs markets across Europe.
To achieve our goals in decarbonizing fuels and in the production of biofuel for aviation or of bioplastics, or in the recycling of plastics, we invest heavily (between 300 and 500 M€ for each site), in the conversion of some of our refineries into zero petrol platforms as we do in the south of France or nearby Paris.
In the field of green biogas, TotalEnergies recently became the leader in France, through the acquisition of Fonroche. Our ambition is also to become a leader in the mass production of clean hydrogen both through investments in blue hydrogen – stemming from reforming natural gas – and also mainly green hydrogen projects -stemming from splitting water with electrolysis with renewable power capacities.
And we do believe Carbon capture and storage will be necessary to achieve our goals for decarbonization and that of our customers; this is why we are part of the Northern light project, in Norway, alongside other European companies, which is the first large scale commercial project in Europe.
In this context we welcome the Fit for 55 package presented last July by the European Commission. It aims to reduce European emissions by 55% by 2030, versus 1990, on the way to Net Zero in 2050. This package is sending strong signals to all actors in Europe: putting a price of carbon by strengthening and extending the ETS, increasing the level of common goals in the field of renewables, adopting an ambitious goal for vehicles as soon as 2035, introducing a carbon border adjustment mechanism in some particularly vulnerable industrial sectors in order to avoid counterproductive effects of European CO2 emissions standards in the international competition, in particular for energy intensive industries but also for electricity.
This package offers real opportunities for the European economy to be transformed in a sustainable and inclusive manner. As discussions are starting within the European Union on this basis, it is also important to bear in mind that the implications are global for our industry.
The climate challenge is universal, transition will not happen overnight but needs time to adjust and the challenges are huge for other parts of the world, especially China, India, and emerging economies without which Net Zero targets necessary to slow down climate change cannot be achieved.
European legislation should keep defining dynamic approaches of the transformation and avoid logics of exclusion as we have to look worldwide for the best technological solutions suited to the variety of situations.
Natural gas can and will play a key role in this transition as it represents a way forward for these economies, with considerable impact on the reduction of emissions through the switch from coal, the development of green gas, and the fight against methane emissions. TotalEnergies ambition in this field is to rank among the top three companies worldwide supplying low-carbon liquid natural gas.
We collectively have a huge and urgent challenge ahead. The key to achieve success in this crucial transition is the collaboration of all, producers, governments, decision-makers, financial and research community, and consumers. TotalEnergies is transforming itself massively and is determined to play its part alongside its peers, and the European Institutions, to fully contribute to the success of the Green Deal and more broadly to a sustainable energy transition.