The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has welcomed the announcement from Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) to adopt the Say on Climate initiative and provide shareholders with a non-binding vote on the company’s Climate Change Report at next year’s AGM.
Commenting on the announcement, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment, said:
“We welcome Woodside’s commitment to transparency and its acknowledgement of shareholders’ appetite to provide formal input into transition planning. We will continue to engage with the company over the coming weeks about a recurring annual vote beyond 2022.
“While Woodside aspires to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2050, it has no plans to address the Scope 3 emissions from the oil and gas they sell—the largest share of its carbon footprint. Investors have demanded targets on Scope 3 emissions and any credible future report must address this gap.
“Woodside is planning to substantially increase production by 2028, including the development of the highly polluting Scarborough project, which will come at the expense of emissions reductions in the critical decade to 2030.
“Woodside intends to rely almost exclusively on land-based carbon offsets in the short-term, and carbon, capture and storage (CCS) in the long-term. Yet it has provided shareholders with very little information about the costs, risks and milestones for these plans.
“Due to the rapid transition taking place in the energy sector, it is imperative that shareholders are provided with the information required to assess the future earnings and value of these companies.
“The pressure is now firmly on Oil Search and other major polluters to adopt Say on Climate voluntarily.
“The Say on Climate framework will provide shareholders with the opportunity to send a clear signal to the board about whether the company is effectively managing the risks of climate change.”
Link to investor briefing on ACCR’s Say on Climate resolution to Woodside.
Say on Climate is a major, global climate-corporate governance initiative launched in 2020 by TCI Fund Management, the activist fund run by Chris Hohn, and its charitable foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) (CIFF).
The aim of the initiative is to generate a widespread increase in focus of listed companies and their investors on developing and delivering Paris-aligned plans, with increased accountability around substance of and performance against those plans through annual shareholder votes.
Resolutions have been filed with a number of companies globally, and statements of support made by various asset managers and asset owners. Mark Carney (UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance) is a public supporter of the initiative.
Learn more about the Say on Climate framework here.