Total pulls out of American Petroleum Institute over climate goals


French multinational energy company Total has withdrawn its membership within the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Total announced that it will not renew its American Petroleum Institute (API)’s membership for 2021 as part of its efforts to meet climate and environmental sustainability goals.

The energy company has made its decisions based on key points outlined in its Getting to Net Zero report issued in September, which included support for the Paris Agreement; the belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing and support more carbon capture and storage; and support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy.

Total said it believes these and other goals make it unable to remain part of the API.

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The climate goals of both organisations clashed on:

  • The role of natural gas: API maintains its support for the rollback of US regulation on methane emissions, which the Group opposed in November 2019;
  • The decarbonisation of the transportation system: API is part of the Transportation Fairness Alliance, which is opposed to subsidies for electric vehicles;
  • The carbon pricing principle: API expresses differing positions to those of Total.
  • Moreover, API gave its support during the recent elections to candidates who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement.

Total chairman Patrick Pouyanné 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.

“This transparency responds to our stakeholders’ expectations, as well as being an essential guarantee of the credibility of our strategy.”