Total talks carbon tax

LONDON, June 21, 2017 – Total will throw its weight behind a push for countries to impose taxes on carbon emissions in a bid to accelerate the shift from coal to gas, CEO Patrick Pouyanné said on Wednesday.

The move is part of Total’s aim to clean up the company’s portfolio. According to Pouyanné, the share of renewable energy should hit 20% before 2050.

Gas, too, will play a role in reducing carbon emissions. To that end, Total will work to develop new technology that can cut the price tag of gas infrastructure, such as regasification plants.


“We are building more and more infrastructure around the world. Disrupting technology for regasification is changing the world because for $200-$300 million you can build a new point of regasification. You can have a network in the world of more producers and more points to sell your gas,” Pouyanné told Reuters.

But the shift to the cleaner-burning resource is not without obstacles, the Total boss added.

“Gas might be undercut by coal. Renewables will grow but the real fight is against coal. That is why we are advocating a carbon tax.”

Pouyanné pointed to the example of the UK, where a punitive tax on carbon emissions has had the desired effect.

“The UK has managed to shift its power system to gas from coal in one year. The UK has demonstrated it [carbon tax] works.”

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