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FRENCH OIL GIANT TOTAL REBRANDS IN SHIFT TO RENEWABLES

Oil and gas giant Total will be rebranded as TotalEnergies as it shifts some of its focus towards renewable energy sources.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.

However, the firm may face a revolt later over whether it is doing enough to diversify away from its core fossil fuel businesses.

Big energy firms are coming under increasing pressure to adjust to a lower-carbon world.

Total is putting forward a motion on environmental goals, including reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

But several small investors say they plan to vote against the motion.

The vote will be watched carefully after upsets earlier this week at two other energy giants.

On Wednesday, a small hedge fund investor succeeded in ousting two board members at Exxon in the US, in a bid to alter its direction on climate change.

And a court in the Netherlands ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its emissions more quickly than the Anglo-Dutch oil firm had planned.

Total is the world’s fourth-largest privately owned oil and gas producer.

In February, announcing the planned rebranding, Total’s chairman and chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, said the new name would symbolise Total’s “new commitment to be a leader in a world with more energies and fewer emissions”.

He said the company would have to go through “a genuine transformation” to meet its net zero target by 2050.

Net zero means that while the firm may reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted as a result of its activities, it can also offset some of its footprint by paying for projects that avoid emissions elsewhere. – BBC

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