Total became the latest of the world’s oil and gas supermajors to set a goal to become a net-zero business by 2050, as the French group trumpeted its ambitions to become “a leading international player in renewables” with 25GW in place within five years.

The French energy giant joined BP and Shell in setting mid-century goals – although the full range of net-zero measures will only apply to its European operations and will inevitably be heavily scrutinised for signs of 'greenwash'.

Total – which already has significant footholds in onshore and offshore wind, solar and storage – said it will spend one-fifth of its Capex on “low-carbon electricity” by 2030 at the latest, up from 10% now, without specifying whether that definition still includes any fossil fuel-based investments.

It confirmed an existing target of having 25GW of gross renewables capacity by 2025.

Total has made investments in 6GW of renewables since the start of this year, and will protect “low-carbon” spending in 2020 from cuts imposed to deal with the coronavirus-inspired downturn that has hammered its business.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said: “We recognise that the trust of our shareholders, and society more widely, is essential to Total remaining an attractive and reliable long-term investment.

“And only by remaining a world-class investment can we most effectively play our part in advancing a low carbon future.”