InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Paris, France
Brands and Associated Companies
Elf Aquitaine
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Total has communicated more positive top-line positions on certain climate-motivated policies, such as carbon pricing and methane regulations, since 2015, although continues to advocate an energy policy agenda focused on advancing the role of fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, in the energy mix. The company retains membership to a number of powerful trade associations engaged in the active opposition of climate regulations.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In 2020, Total confirmed its support for the Paris Agreement and limiting warming to well below 2°C. Furthermore, in 2020, Total has stated support for the EU’s net zero by 2050 emissions target. In its 2020 Climate Report, the company stated it would actively advocate for policies that support net zero, including those that promote growth in renewable energies. Additionally, Total appears to be positively positioned on carbon pricing and has stated that it actively advocates for carbon pricing on its corporate website in 2021.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Total has had some positive engagements with carbon pricing policies. In March 2020, Total supported the development of a carbon border adjustment mechanism in the EU, although advocated for the gradual phase out of free allowances and compensation rather than an immediate removal. In contrast to Total’s positive top line position on carbon pricing, however, in 2020, Total signed a joint letter spearheaded by the Business Council of Alberta in Canada, which called for freezing the federal carbon tax in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also supports the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon dividend in the U.S., which while promoting a carbon price, also calls for regulatory simplification. Total appears to have positive engagement with regulations regarding methane emission reductions. In the U.S., Total opposed the Trump Administration’s removal of methane emissions regulation in 2019 and in the EU, the company has advocated in favour of including methane emissions regulation in the EU Green Deal in 2020. This position on methane is tied to Total’s promotion of gas in the energy mix. Total has supported measures that will help substitute coal with new gas generation, such as limiting access to capacity mechanisms to plants emitting 550g CO2/kWH.

Total’s position on renewable energy legislation appears to be mixed: In its 2019 CDP disclosure, Total appeared to opposed separate targets in the EU for renewable energy, however, in 2020 has offered some support to the role of wind energy in the energy mix. Furthermore, on its website in 2021, Total has stated it supports policies, initiatives and technologies to promote growth in renewable energies.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Total’s top-line positioning on the energy mix is more mixed. On the one hand, Total has released statements supporting the energy transition, such as in February 2020. On the other hand, Total’s top-line positioning on the energy mix still promotes the long-term role of gas in particular. In 2020, the company stated that the first challenge of the energy mix was to provide affordable energy and as such, hydrocarbons would still be an important energy source in 20-35 years.

Total’s position on the energy transition aligns with the company’s broader support for a long-term role for gas in the energy mix. In 2020, Total has repeatedly promoted the role of gas in the energy mix, including in its 2020 Climate report, and in a submission to the EU regarding its methane strategy. While Total does also support the development and deployment of CCUS and measures to control methane regulations, it does not tie the use of gas to either. In November 2020, Total lobbied policymakers in the EU to weaken the emissions limits on sustainable investment criteria in order to include gas. In its 2020 communications, Total has also supported the development of biogas, although again without condition regarding the use of CCS.

Industry Association Governance: In 2019, Total reviewed 30 of the company’s industry associations’ positions on climate and found only one – American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) – to be ‘Not Aligned’ from the company’s climate positions, and did not renew its membership with AFPM. In Total's 2020 update, the company also confirmed it was leaving Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, however it retains membership of industry associations including American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), both of which have actively lobbied against a variety of climate change policies.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Climate Science Transparency
1 2 NS 1 NS 2 1 NA
Climate Science Stance
1 0 NA -2 NS 0 NS NA
Need for Climate Regulation
0 0 NS NS 1 0 NS NA
UN Treaty Support
1 1 NA -1 2 0 NS NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
1 -1 1 1 1 0 NS NA
Emissions Trading
0 NS 0 -1 1 0 NS NA
Energy Efficiency Standards
1 -2 -1 -2 NS NS NS NA
Renewable Energy Legislation
1 0 -1 0 -2 NS NS NA
Energy Policy and Mix
0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 NA
GHG Emission Standards
1 1 1 1 0 NS NS NA
Disclosure on Relationships
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.