Energy major Total announced that it has chosen not to renew its membership in the American Petroleum Institute (API), a major trade and lobbying group representing hundreds of companies in the oil and natural gas industry. Total stated that the decision was made after completing a detailed analysis of the API’s climate positions.
According to Total, the company annually reviews the alignment of the industry associations in which it is a member with its own climate positions, considering criteria including Total’s support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement, its belief in the necessity to implement carbon pricing, and the company’s support for policies and initiatives that promote the development of renewable energy, among others. After discussions with the API on areas of divergence on several of the criteria, and following the API’s support during the recent elections to candidates who argued against the United States’ participation in the Paris Agreement, Total decided to exit the group.
In May of last year, Total announced its new “Climate Ambition,” announcing the company would target a transition to carbon neutrality. In July, the company announced that it would withdraw from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), due to positions that were no longer aligned with CAPP’s public stance, in light of the new Climate Ambition strategy.
Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, 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.”
Total’s move to exit the API also follows a similar announcement early last year by bp to leave 3 US-based trade associations – the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) – due to their incompatibility with the company’s climate policies.