Total Planting 40,000 Hectare Forest in Rep of Congo
Total (NYSE: TOT) has revealed that the company and Forêt Ressources Management have signed a partnership agreement with the Republic of the Congo to plant a 40,000 hectare forest on the Batéké Plateaux.
The new forest will create a carbon sink that will sequester more than 10 million tons of CO2 over 20 years, according to Total, which is financing the project. Total – which noted that the project is designed to produce multiple social, economic, and environmental benefits – highlighted that employment opportunities will be created with a positive impact on “several thousand people”.
“With this project on the Batéké Plateaux, Total is committing to the development of natural carbon sinks in Africa,” Nicolas Terraz, a senior vice president of Africa exploration and production at Total, said in a company statement.
“These activities build on the priority initiatives taken by the group to avoid and reduce emissions, in line with its ambition to get to net zero by 2050. They will also help to showcase the Congo’s natural potential and to extend our long-term partnership with the country, where we have been present for fifty years,” he added.
Adrien Henry, the vice president of nature based solutions at Total, said, “we want to develop these projects with recognized partners, such as FRM, who have a great deal to teach us, while concerting with relevant regions to anchor our commitment in the long term and contribute to local development”.
Bernard Cassagne, the chairman and chief executive officer of Forêt Ressources Management, said, “the more than 10 million hectares of land reserves on the Congo’s Batéké Plateaux offer a fantastic way to combat climate change at the global level and a unique opportunity for sustainable socio-economic development in isolated regions of the country”.
Rosalie Matondo, the minister of the forest economy of the Republic of the Congo, said, “this ambitious and exemplary project is part of PRONAR, the national afforestation/reforestation program launched in 2011 to expand the country’s forest cover and increase carbon storage capacity, create new wood-based businesses to diversify the national economy, and foster the emergence of a green economy in the Republic of the Congo”.
Total announced the creation of its nature based solutions unit in June 2019 to develop natural carbon sinks to sequester tons of CO2 from its operations. Total says its objective is to participate in the development of sustainable sequestration capacity of at least five million tons of CO2 per year from 2030, while contributing to the preservation of biodiversity, and the sustainable development of local communities.
Earlier this month, Total revealed that it and Microsoft had agreed to collaborate as strategic partners to further digital transformation and support progress toward net zero emissions. Back in February, Total joined the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping as a strategic partner and accelerated its research and development program for carbon neutral shipping solutions.
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