Media release

Santos Climate Change Report 2019: reduce emissions by burning more gas

Statement from Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, on Santos’ Climate Change Report 2019, released today:

“This report confirms that the gas industry is only concerned with delaying the transition from ‘coal to clean’. It contains no serious or effectual commitments to reduce emissions. This is exactly why ACCR is undertaking extremely assertive engagement with Santos ahead of its May annual general meeting.

“Santos’s climate change strategy is predicated on replacing Asian coal-fired power generation with gas. If this is what Santos and its investors have in mind when they spruik “gas as a transition fuel”, then Asian countries run the risk of locking in emissions that could and should be avoided.

“Santos’s climate change targets consist of the following:

  1. Increase gas production by 50% by 2025
  2. Reduce operational emissions by 5% by 2025
  3. Assess carbon, capture and storage, and solar thermal

“Such targets lack all credibility, particularly given recent announcements by global oil majors BP and Shell. While Santos’s peers are setting targets to reduce the emissions from the product they sell (Scope 3, category 11), Santos is planning to increase those emissions by 50%.

“Santos’s commitment to reduce operational emissions by 5% by 2025 will likely be achieved by the decarbonisation of electricity grid. The company won’t actually have to do anything.

“The final element of Santos’s targets - to assess largely unproven technologies - contains no monetary commitment, no timeline, nor any metrics by which it will measure success. In short, it’s meaningless.

“While Santos’s aspiration to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2050 sounds positive, it is only that - an aspiration. Given Santos plans to reduce operational emissions by just 5% by 2025, its current management is passing the buck to future Santos executives.

“At its 2018 AGM, 10% of Santos’s shareholders voted for further disclosure of how the company manages its fugitive emissions. Santos has not disclosed any further information that was not already public. Until such time as monitoring data is disclosed, investors must assume that fugitive emissions from Santos’s coal seam gas fields make them just as dirty as coal.”

Media contact: Dan Gocher 0410 550 337

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