Defying protests, TotalEnergies says seeking new oil fields

Defying protests, TotalEnergies says seeking new oil fields

TotalEnergies won overwhelming backing for its climate strategy and a new term for its CEO
TotalEnergies won overwhelming backing for its climate strategy and a new term for its CEO. Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP
Source: AFP

PAY ATTENTION: Leave your feedback about Fill in this short form. Help us serve you better!

The boss of TotalEnergies told shareholders Friday the French energy giant needed to develop new oil fields to meet global demand, as their AGM was picketed by climate activists.

Patrick Pouyanne warned that higher oil prices prompted by insufficient fossil fuel output "would quickly become unbearable for the populations in emerging countries, but also in our developed countries".

Demand for oil was growing in line with the global population, he said.

But Pouyanne also promised that TotalEnergies would pursue its "balanced strategy" of developing both fossil fuel and low-carbon energy production.

TotalEnergies had provided proof that it was possible "to be a profitable, or even the most profitable, company while pursuing a transformation" towards cleaner energy, he said.

Climate activists had gathered hours before the general meeting opened, with Greenpeace members unfurling a "Wanted" banner depicting Pouyanne and calling him "the leader of France's most polluting company".

Read also

Norway struggles to keep ultra-rich tempted by exile

The banner was quickly taken down by police.

Several hundred activists belonging to the Extinction Rebellion group meanwhile gathered near the Paris offices of Amundi, a French asset manager and among TotalEnergies' biggest shareholders.

A few dozen of them forced their way into Amundi's offices, and a number were arrested.

Hundreds protested against TotalEnergies's fossil fuel activities
Hundreds protested against TotalEnergies's fossil fuel activities. Photo: Antonin UTZ / AFP
Source: AFP

Climate activists say TotalEnergies is contributing to global warming, to the destruction of biodiversity and to violations of human rights through its gas and oil activities.

At Friday's meeting, nearly 80 percent of shareholders approved their company's climate strategy, with more than 75 percent also voting to renew Pouyanne as CEO for three years.

Pouyanne, who last month floated the idea of a New York listing for his company, told the shareholders' meeting that there was actually "no question" of TotalEnergies leaving France.

He said in April that there was "a case" to move from the Paris CAC 40 index to New York in search of higher valuations and larger markets.

Read also

Kenyan president warns debt clouds Africa climate potential

French President Emmanuel Macron, asked by Bloomberg if he would be "happy" with such a move, responded: "Not at all and I would be very surprised" if it came to pass.

Source: AFP

AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel