shareholders support the climate strategy

shareholders support the climate strategy

2023-05-26 21:00:04

Protesters for the climate disrupted the general assembly of TotalEnergies on Friday in Paris. STEPHANIE LECOCQ/REUTERS

The group’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, welcomes “broad support” and “quality debate” by his employees.

Haro on the donkey! The presentation of the results of TotalEnergies and the holding of its general meeting of shareholders (GM) are as many occasions seized by the defenders of the climate and the environment to express their dissatisfaction. The GA this Friday morning was no exception to the rule.

From early morning, members of associations and non-governmental organizations occupied the street, determined to block the holding of this meeting at Salle Pleyel, in Paris. The police, however, crisscrossed the area, which did not prevent some tension and the use of tear gas against demonstrators.

Shareholders’ plebiscite

The activists were nevertheless heard by the politicians. For the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, they are “in their role of alerting“. Earlier in the morning, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition, called on TotalEnergies to “accelerate in its ecological transition» and to «do more for renewable energy».

On the other hand, the action of the militants massed in front of the doors did not have a direct impact on the vote of the shareholders, vote which is held primarily remotely. In the room, the atmosphere was quite different, with an audience mainly committed to the cause of the group and its CEO, Patrick Pouyanné. The question-and-answer session made it possible to take the pulse of the audience: a speaker who was very critical of TotalEnergies’ strategy suffered annoyed remarks from other shareholders.

The real indicator, scrutinized by all, was the vote of the resolutions submitted for the approval of the GA. Among them, two were particularly awaited, relating to the environmental impact of TotalEnergies’ activity. The first concerned an advisory opinion of the AG on the report “ Sustainability & Climate (sustainable development) of the group. It was actually for the shareholders to approve – or not – its strategic orientations in the energy transition. With 88.76% of the votes in favour, Patrick Pouyanné was pleased “of this very broad support». «Shareholders have chosen not to sanction the company despite its climate plan not being aligned with the International Energy Agency’s scenario to limit global warming to 1.5°Cimmediately reacted the NGO Reclaim Finance.

The second resolution had been filed by a group of shareholders (including La Banque Postale, Edmond de Rotschild AM, La Financière de l’Échiquier) anxious to push TotalEnergies to review its copy in terms of accounting for indirect greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse (Scope 3). This was to ask the major to better take into account the CO2 emissions attributable to the use of its production by its customers. A point widely decried by the CEO. He was heard. With just over 30% of votes in favor, including that of BNP Paribas Asset Management, it was not adopted to the great regret of its defenders. Reclaim Finance has taken note and calls “investors to overtake the voting game by suspending all new investment as long as the major continues to develop new fossil projects».

Another sensitive subject: the remuneration of the boss, who should cross the bar of 10 million euros this year taking into account salary, bonus and allocation of shares, has been validated by the shareholders at more than 90%. They also voted more than 99% in favor of the distribution of a dividend of 3.81 euros and share buybacks.

Patrick Pouyanné took care to thank the 500 shareholders present, despite access difficulties. This meeting was once again an opportunity for the boss to defend his strategic choices. He constantly reminds us that the world demand for hydrocarbons is increasing and that if it is not his group that responds to it, others will – and are already doing so. But he also insisted on the investments made by TotalEnergies in renewable energies, to deploy solar or wind electricity production capacities, batteries, charging stations for electric vehicles… and to support the change in demand.

#shareholders #support #climate #strategy


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