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Woodside CEO retirement must make way for action on climate change

The Conservation Council of WA has welcomed news that Woodside CEO Peter Coleman will be retiring from his role, calling for new leadership to bring an end to an era of blocking action on climate change, and for the company to back out of its highly polluting Burrup Hub development plans.

“Under Peter Coleman’s leadership, Woodside has aggressively pursued plans to develop Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel developments, and the company has been the state’s number one blocker of sensible action on climate change.

“Instead of taking genuine steps to address Woodside’s rising carbon pollution, Peter Coleman has made it an ideological obsession to block sensible action on climate change through his lobbying, political donations, corporate influence and public campaigning on the issue.

“Recently we have seen the McGowan Government release a climate change policy that ignores the science and goes against public sentiment by allowing further pollution growth. This places WA in the company of petro-states like Saudi Arabia and Russia in undermining international action on climate change.

“This policy carries the clear fingerprints of Mr Coleman and Woodside who have stopped at nothing to ensure there are no impediments to the company continuing to pollute at record levels into the coming decades.

“Last year, public campaigning led by Mr Coleman and Woodside resulted in the state’s independent EPA being forced to dump its science-based position on climate change, and instead adopt a compromised position that allows pollution to continue rising in order to protect the commercial interests of fossil fuel companies like Woodside.

“As a result of Peter Coleman’s efforts to block action on climate change, WA’s carbon pollution has been rising steadily since 2005 and there is still no credible plan to bring this growth under control.

“These efforts have also cost Western Australian’s thousands of jobs in real solutions like renewable energy, carbon farming and clean manufacturing, and they have held back our state’s potential as a leader in the emerging low carbon global economy.

“Instead, Peter Coleman has pursued a growth strategy for Woodside that would lock the company and WA into a carbon intensive future through the development of the Burrup Hub – Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel project. This development would result in around four times the carbon pollution of the Adani coal mine.

“Woodside’s growth strategy under Mr Coleman has relied upon maintaining weak climate policies and compliant governments. This is not a position that can be maintained indefinitely, and it presents huge risks for the company and its shareholders. 

“There is now a clear pathway for Woodside to clean up its existing operations, drop the Burrup Hub, and shift to a growth strategy focused on renewable energy and clean hydrogen.

“We welcome the opportunity for new leadership at Woodside and we call on the company’s new leader to drop its efforts to block action on climate change and to back out of its disastrous Burrup hub developments.”

Media contact:  Giovanni Torre – 0437 167 087

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