By Emmanuel Nduka
French Oil and Gas giant, TotalEnergies SE has started a project to plant 40 million trees over a 10-year period in the Republic of Congo as part of its plan to become carbon neutral by 2050.
This comes as fossil fuel companies are under increasing pressure from governments and shareholders to fight climate change.
Thus, TotalEnergies and its European peers have outlined net-zero plans that include investments in renewable energy and other low-carbon fuels, and also plans to develop natural carbon sinks such as forests to offset some of their emissions.
In a statement on Monday, TotalEnergies said that its project in the African nation, conducted in partnership with Foret Ressources Management, will plant a new forest on 40,000 hectares of land on the Bateke Plateaux, and care for it for at least 35 years.
It said the initiative will absorb about 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year from the atmosphere over twenty years, equivalent to the annual emissions of an average European city of 70,000 inhabitants, while the carbon credits will be certified in accordance with the Verified Carbon Standard.
Within the last eight months, tree nurseries in Congo have produced more than one million plants, which will be progressively planted from the next rainy season on 800 hectares of land, TotalEnergies said.
The company also hinted that it plans to spend $100 million a year building a portfolio of projects that would generate at least 5 million metric tons of carbon credits annually by 2030.