TotalEnergies Shareholders Reject Activist Resolution for Faster Emission Cuts Amid Climate Protests

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TotalEnergies, a major oil company, faced resistance from shareholders as they rejected an activist resolution demanding swifter reductions in the company’s greenhouse gas emissions program. The resolution, put forward by climate group Follow This and supported by 17 institutional investors managing a combined 1.1 trillion euros, garnered 30.44% of votes, marking an increase from the 17% vote share achieved in 2020 with a similar proposal. The company’s annual general meeting in central Paris was marred by clashes between police and climate protesters.

Tear gas filled the air, and law enforcement resorted to using pepper spray while clearing a path for shareholders through the demonstrators. Attendees were required to seal their phones in satchels for the duration of the meeting. Despite the disruptions, TotalEnergies CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, expressed hope for future dialogue. As the pressure mounts on oil companies to adopt more stringent targets for greenhouse gas emissions, similar protests have recently targeted Shell and BP shareholder meetings. France’s Energy Minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, emphasized the need for oil and gas companies to reimagine their futures and find a viable path away from fossil fuels.

The rejected Follow This resolution opposed TotalEnergies’ board, calling for the company to commit to more substantial absolute emissions reductions by 2030, rather than relying on intensity targets that can decrease as renewable assets are added.

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