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Total and the logic for net-zero

The French major commits to a target out of fear of being overlooked by investors

Total became in May the latest large oil and gas firm to commit to a net-zero by 2050 target. And CEO Patrick Pouyanne is remarkably candid about the reasoning behind it. There was a “disconnect” between what Total had been doing “leading the pack” in lowering its carbon footprint—its carbon intensity has fallen by what it says is a peer-leading 6pc since 2015—and its 2030, 2035 and 2040 targets and being seen as a “laggard” by increasingly ESG-conscious investors for not having a 2050 net-zero commitment, says Pouyanne.      The firm has thus far committed to being carbon-neutral in its Scope 1 and 2 emissions—i.e. those coming from its own production, refining and marketing—amounting to



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