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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Total, the French multinational oil-and-gas giant, said Tuesday it hopes to reach "net zero" emissions by 2050, joining European peers including Shell and BP in setting ambitious mid-century targets.

Why it matters: Total’s plan includes targets for Scope 3 emissions — that is, emissions from use of its products in the economy that comprise by far the largest share of total CO2 linked to the industry.

The big picture: The plan calls for increasing the amounts of climate-friendly energy in its product mix, including a vow to double the share of its capital spending devoted to low-carbon power to 20% by 2030.

Reality check: Plenty of details remain to be filled in when it comes to how exactly these behemoths will meet these long-term goals and even interim targets.

  • The plans also recognize that the goals — especially Scope 3 targets — rely on external forces the companies can influence but don't control.

One level deeper: Shell said when unveiling its plan last month that it would involve working with customers on their emissions-cutting efforts.

  • Total said it's aiming to reach net-zero "together with society." It's vowing to engage in "active" policy advocacy and work with other businesses to decarbonize their energy use.
  • Total also said it wants a "60% or more reduction in the average carbon intensity of energy products used worldwide by Total customers by 2050."

Of note: The plan arrived on the same day that Total posted a 35% decline in Q1 profits compared to the same period a year earlier, as low prices bite. CNBC has more.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

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