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France's Total quits top U.S. oil lobby over climate policies

Kitco News

LONDON (Reuters) - France’s Total on Friday became the first major energy company to quit the largest U.S. oil and gas lobby because of differences over climate policies.

Total said in a statement it would not renew its 2021 membership with the American Petroleum Institute (API) following a review of the lobby’s climate positions, describing them as being only “partially aligned” with Total’s.

The points of difference include API’s support for the rollback of U.S. regulation on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and how to assign a price to carbon, vital to any carbon trading system seen as critical to curb emissions.

“As part of our Climate Ambition made public in May 2020, we are committed to ensuring, in a transparent manner, that the industry associations of which we are a member adopt positions and messages that are aligned with those of the Group in the fight against climate change”, Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné said.

API did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Total and fellow European majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell have already pulled out of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a leading U.S. oil refining group, also due to differences over climate policies.

Until now, those companies had elected to remain in API, the primary trade group for the oil and gas industry.

Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jan Harvey and Jason Neely

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