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How to Sell ‘Carbon Neutral’ Fossil Fuel That Doesn’t Exist

(Bloomberg) -- The junior traders at TotalEnergies SE were essentially winging it last September by orchestrating the French energy giant’s first shipment of “carbon-neutral” natural gas. It’s the greenest-possible designation for fossil fuel and an important step in making the company’s core product more palatable in a warming world. Nailing down the deal involved googling and guesswork. Listen to this story.

Total had proposed the trade after learning a client had already purchased two carbon-neutral cargos from rivals at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, according to people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be named discussing a private transaction. One of these insiders said that only after getting the go-ahead did the inexperienced team attempt to figure out how to neutralize the emissions contained in a hulking tanker full of liquified natural gas. Their first step was to search the internet for worthy environmental projects that might offset the pollution.



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