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Total’s Top Financier Urged to Sever Ties Due to Russia Exposure

The oil giant’s decision to stay in Russia places Credit Agricole at center of climate activists’ campaign.

A TotalEnergies gas station in Toulouse, France.

A TotalEnergies gas station in Toulouse, France.

Photographer: Matthieu Rondel/Bloomberg

Credit Agricole SA, which provides more financial support to TotalEnergies SE than any other institution, has become the target of an activist campaign urging it to sever ties with the French oil major due to its continued operations in Russia.

Reclaim Finance, a Paris-based nonprofit focused on sustainable investing, wrote to the chief executive officers of Credit Agricole and its asset management unit, Amundi SA, to demand that they stop providing capital to Total and all other fossil-fuel companies still active in Russia. Amundi, which oversees more than $2 trillion, is Total’s biggest shareholder after BlackRock Inc., while Credit Agricole is its biggest lender.

Total’s stance has left it increasingly isolated as rivals such as BP Plc, Shell Plc, Equinor ASA and Exxon Mobil Corp. all turn their backs on Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s part of a mass exodus that’s rapidly turning Russia into a political and economic pariah amid international condemnation of Putin’s war.