These investors, increasingly numerous, who say no to TotalEnergies’ climate strategy

They are ten who have publicly announced that they will vote against TotalEnergies’ climate strategy at the GA next Wednesday, May 25. A minority group that shouldn’t change the outcome of the vote, but could give ideas to other funds, let alone anecdotally.

The movement has been gaining momentum since last year and could turn TotalEnergies’ General Assembly on its head this year. While the French oil group’s AG is being held next Wednesday, May 25, several shareholders have decided to denounce its climate strategy.

Among them OFI AM, owned by Macif and Matmut, and Meeschaert Amilton AM, which had already voted against this strategy last year. Today, the two investors are renewing their vote.

Still too much investment in exploration

“The challenge for us is to have commitments that allow us to measure alignment with a 1.5 degree scenario, and that is still missing,” recalls Aurélie Baudhuin, director of SRI research at Meeschaert, Amilton AM, contacted by BFM Business.

“There is still a lot of investment in exploration, but current exploration is leading to a deposit life of 30 to 40 years,” she adds. Exploration investments discouraged by the International Energy Agency.

Surprise: they are joined by big names in asset management. The Dutch MN, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, La Financière de l’Echiquier, Mandarine Gestion, Sycomore AM are also preparing to impose sanctions on TotalEnergies at the AGM. The last to publicly announce their negative vote: various Crédit Mutuel subsidiaries.

Crédit Mutuel subsidiaries under the garlands

Crédit Mutuel has regularly voiced its concerns about the group’s climate policy over the past three years. In 2020, the company was part of the group that had already submitted a climate resolution in the run-up to TotalEnergies GM. She had abstained last year. So do 12% of shareholders, according to a BFM Business source.

This year, Crédit Mutuel “expects greater exploration efforts” that “do not respect the Paris Agreement,” said Carole Le Moaligou, CSR Director of Crédit Mutuel, whom BFM Business has contacted.

If “Crédit Mutuel welcomes TotalEnergies’ efforts over the past three years”, it expects a stronger acceleration from the oil giant that “has the resources”. A view shared by Meeschaert AM, who does not want to qualify his vote as a “sanction”.

Tension has been rising for several weeks

For several weeks, the pressure was up a notch. In April, two climate resolutions were tabled by some of these shareholders who were dissatisfied with the group’s climate policy. Resolutions that were rejected by TotalEnergies each time. Faced with the various announcements from shareholders, the French giant does not tremble. A spokesperson for the group recalls that these funds represent “only 0.33%” of the capital.

In addition to these shareholders, the financial analysis and consultancy firm Proxinvest gave the same indication to its clients: “We recommend an unfavorable vote to encourage the board of directors to continue its efforts and meet expectations”.

More and more players are clearly positioning themselves, while other shareholders are still thinking. An influential fund tells us that today’s vote on the eve of the GA still sparked internal discussions. Take a cautious stance or attack the French oil giant publicly? Only one thing is certain: After voting positively last year to welcome the “Say on Climate” initiative, more and more investors are wondering.

So last year the climate resolution was voted by almost 92%. A blow to the few shareholders who had tried to revolt against the oil giant’s project, backed by companies, including Reclaim Finance, who regularly oppose fossil fuel projects.

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