Total has announced that it has withdrawn from coal production and marketing, following the closing of the sale of mine operator Total Coal South Africa to a local company.
The South African government has now approved the sale, which was initially agreed in summer 2014.
In a statement, Total said that it was exiting coal production, as it was mindful of the impacts that its activities had on climate change. The company will instead focus on increasing the percentage of natural gas in its energy mix. Total also said that it would look to develop solar energy and enhance the energy efficiency of its facilities, amongst other initiatives.
On 1 June, Patrick Pouyanné, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Faced with the issue of climate change, Total is committed to promoting the use of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, especially compared to coal, which emits twice as much greenhouse gas when used to generate power. We cannot claim to be providing solutions to climate change while continuing to produce or market coal, the fossil fuel that emits more greenhouse gas than any other. In addition to withdrawing from mining, we have also decided to divest our coal marketing operations. By end-2016, we will no longer be involved in the coal business.”
Edited from press release by Callum O'Reilly
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