Total striving to be 20% low-carbon by 2025

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French oil and gas company Total is aiming for a fifth (20%) of its assets to be low-carbon within 20 years, as part of a wider shift towards renewable energy, its chief executive Patrick Pouyanné has stated.
 
Speaking to the Financial Times, Pouyanné explained that the company was acting in response to shifting energy demands, and as a result, wanted to boost its investment in renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency companies.
 
These announcements were made during Total's annual shareholder meeting held earlier this month, where the chief executive answered multiple questions about the company's environmental strategy.
With assets of around $130 billion, the chief executive has suggested that a 20% low-carbon goal "could be big" for Total. However, he added that as the energy sector continues to evolve, the group is acknowledging that "there are new areas over the next 20 years beyond oil and gas that we think can be profitable."
 
Following pledges made by global leaders at last year's Paris climate change summit to restrict global warming to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels, energy groups throughout the world are having to create long-term energy reduction strategies.
 
It is thought that the agreements made in Paris will have a knock-on effect on the fossil fuel industry; according to the International Energy Agency, measures to reduce emissions could see oil demand drop by 22% by 2040.
 
While many oil and gas groups have held back in proclaiming any major changes to their business models, suggesting that oil and gas will still be necessary in the future for poorer countries, Total has taken a different approach with its latest announcements.
 
"Some of our competitors are defensive [about the shifting energy market], but we are saying we want to make a business out of it," said Pouyanné.
 
While he affirmed that Total "will remain first and foremost an oil and gas company," the focus will be on growing the gas side of the business, as opposed to oil which is a lot more polluting. It is hoped that by 2035, 60% of Total's gas and oil output will come from gas, compared to the 50% proportion today and the 35% a decade ago.
 
This is also where demand is more likely to be, with IEA forecasts predicting that there will be a slight growth in demand for gas over the next ten to twenty years.
 
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