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New scientific report on Scarborough leaves Woodside’s claims ‘in tatters’ - CCWA

The controversial Scarborough gas development, planned for north west WA is ‘a bet against’ the world meeting its Paris Agreement commitments and will result in a 12 per cent increase in the state’s emissions, according to a new report published today.

The Warming Western Australia: How Woodside’s Scarborough and Pluto project undermines the Paris Agreement report, published by the climate science policy institute, Climate Analytics, is the first study in which the entire greenhouse gas implications of the entire fossil fuel development are calculated.

The data – released for the first time today – shows the emissions from Scarborough-Pluto and its associated and interlinked projects are significantly larger than either Woodside or the state government’s existing estimates have indicated.

The report – led by highly respected WA-based climate scientist, Bill Hare – shows that Scarborough will result in huge domestic emissions increases associated with a ‘massive’ expansion of the existing LNG production on the Burrup Peninsula and result in 9.2 million tonnes of  ‘Scope 1’ and ‘Scope 3’ Co2 emissions, each year, by 2026. That is equivalent to around 12.1 per cent of 2005 WA emissions.

Unlike other Australian states, Western Australia does not have not have a 2030 emissions reduction target. Since 2005, WA emissions have increased by 21 per cent – nearly as much as Victoria’s emissions have decreased in the same time frame (25 per cent).

The Climate Analytics report also challenges Woodside’s proposed ‘Greenhouse Gas Abatement Plan’ (GGAP) – accepted by the WA State Government – which heavily relies on carbon offsets, such as tree planting. Offsets have been roundly criticised as ‘greenwash’ by climate experts for diverting attention away from actually reducing emissions and allowing existing emissions to continue or even increase. Evidence has suggested that offsetting Co2 from burning fossil fuels through tree planting is scientifically flawed.

Most crucially, today’s report suggests that Woodside’s claims that the Scarborough gas development is compatible with the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement goal – and the global movement towards net zero by 2050 – is incorrect and justified by flawed use of data.

Responding to the publication of the report, Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Executive Director, Maggie Wood, said that Woodside’s arguments to support the Scarborough development against almost its critics were now ‘in tatters’.

“This report completely discredits Woodside’s disclosures over the total emissions from the Scarborough and Pluto development. Until now, Woodside has avoided being drawn into any detail over quite how damaging this controversial development would be.

“The scientifically rigorous work of Climate Analytics makes the issue quite clear. Not only does the world simply not need Scarborough gas, the damage this development will do to the climate and the prospects for future generations is horrifying. It makes for sobering reading.

“With the various marketing slogans about ‘transition fuels’ and ‘carbon storage’ now in tatters, the truth of the matter is clear to see. Scarborough is a disaster for our climate, with no redeeming features. It is simply not compatible with the urgent needs to drive down emissions and prevent irreversible damage to our climate.

“Pursuing this development – while ignoring all the damning evidence against it – is highly irresponsible.”


MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia. 

For more information, visit:

CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]  

Can you chip in to help fund our legal challenge? We will continue to hold big polluters like Woodside to account in the courts, on the streets, and in the boardrooms because we cannot give up on our climate.


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