‘The more Woodside pollutes, the more Woodside profits’ – that was the message from Western Australia’s peak conservation and environment body as the Woodside AGM got underway in Perth on Friday.
A mobile video billboard, showing Woodside’s pollution and profit stats from 2022, will target several high-profile locations through Perth, including the company’s Perth head office; the WA Parliament; the venue for the AGM at Perth Convention Centre and St Georges Terrace – home of many of Australia’s biggest oil and gas companies.
The campaign is organised by the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), which campaigns against the continued expansion of the gas industry in Western Australia.
Woodside has faced fierce criticism of its continued pursuit of new fossil fuel projects in Western Australia and for its failure to properly account for the serious environmental impact of its emissions.
The company is one of Australia’s biggest polluters, emitting an estimated 75 million tonnes of carbon emissions last year in exchange for more than $9.6 billion (AUD) in profits. The vast majority of the gas Woodside produced last year was sold overseas as export. Only a tiny amount entered the domestic supply for Australian homes and businesses.
Despite Woodside’s statements to the contrary, research has found that its fossil fuel projects are not consistent with the internationally binding Paris Agreement, which pursues efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Woodside plans to proceed with the highly controversial Scarborough gas project, extend the life of its North West Shelf processing facility and exploit the high-carbon Browse gas basin. All of these projects have been found to contribute to undermining the Paris Agreement and will see billions of tonnes of emissions released into the atmosphere for decades to come.
Woodside continues to deny responsibility for the majority of its emissions – known as scope 3 emissions – by not including scope 3 in its emissions reduction targets, a decision which places Woodside out of step with other fossil fuel companies like BP and Shell.
Anna Chapman, Fossil Fuels Program Manager at CCWA said the message was simple and direct.
“Woodside is pumping millions of tonnes of pollution into our atmosphere, every year, to rake in its enormous profits.
“We need to get our biggest polluters under control. New fossil fuel projects are creating dangerous levels of greenhouse gases and increasing the likelihood of more severe and frequent fires, floods and droughts - as we have experienced in recent years.
“West Aussies are doing their bit to help combat climate change, now it’s Woodside’s turn to show it’s serious about decarbonising and winding down its operations.
“Woodside has failed to produce a credible climate plan, and instead is pursuing the emissions intensive Browse proposal and ploughing ahead with the deeply controversial Scarborough gas development.”
Woodside’s board is under increasing pressure over its widely discredited climate plan, which faced a humiliating 49 per cent against vote at its 2022 AGM.
Last week, it bowed to pressure from shareholders to allow a non-binding vote on its climate plan after a number of high-profile investor groups backed calls to vote against the re-election of several high-profile board members.
Groups such as LGIM, International Shareholder Services and CGI Glass Lewis have maintained their recommendations that investors vote to oust at least one prominent Woodside board member on climate grounds, with former Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane under particular pressure.
Woodside is likely to face tough questions from other concerned climate and advocacy groups at its AGM, including Greenpeace and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).
ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN: CCWA is conscious of minimising its environmental impact wherever possible and has offset 100 per cent of the emissions associated this campaign.
CCWA’s Fossil Fuels program is very specifically concerned with the emissions produced by large-scale, industrial gas production in Western Australia and has chosen to target Woodside over their continued commitment to expanding their fossil fuel export business model, against the best scientific consensus on rapidly moving away from new fossil fuel investment.
This concern has led CCWA to work on several high-profile campaigns against Woodside projects, including Say No to Scarborough Gas and Block Browse.
For more information about CCWA’s Fossil Fuels program, visit: ccwa.org.au/fossilfuels
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]