Woodside climate targets: uninspiring business as usual
Woodside’s newly announced climate targets are a disappointment to the investor community, demonstrating that the existing Board and Executive are simply not capable of delivering a transition consistent with limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees celsius.
Commenting on the Woodside announcement, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment, said:
“Woodside’s newly announced target to reduce equity carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 is deliberately evasive, and misses the bigger picture of its entire supply chain.
“Woodside’s operational emissions (8.84 Mt CO2-e) are nearly three times larger than its equity share emissions (3.31Mt CO2-e). Its 2030 target only applies to its equity share. As the operator, Woodside has the ultimate responsibility for reducing emissions at those facilities.
“Woodside intends to deliver these emissions reductions through purchasing carbon offsets and only minor efficiency gains. Offsetting emissions is not good enough, it’s just business as usual.
“By failing to set targets for its Scope 3 emissions (27.9 Mt CO2-e), Woodside continues to gloss over the massive risks it is taking by continuing to invest in gas expansion.
“At Woodside’s AGM earlier this year, half of the company’s shareholders called for it to set Paris-aligned targets across its entire value chain. Woodside has failed to meet those expectations. As we approach Woodside’s 2021 AGM, shareholders will be looking closely at whether Woodside’s Board is competent to drive a credible decarbonisation strategy.
“Japan, South Korea, China have all committed to net zero targets. President-elect Biden will do the same. Woodside’s key markets for LNG are quickly drying up, yet it plans to massively expand production.
“Investors should be pushing Woodside to recalibrate its investment strategy immediately.
“Oil and gas companies have long contended that stranded assets were a possibility in the distant future. Over the last year, the industry’s massive writedowns show beyond a doubt that oil and gas assets are being stranded right now.”
ACCR’s 2020 resolution to Woodside, backed by 50% of shareholders, read as follows:
Ordinary resolution on Paris Goals and Targets:
Shareholders request the Board disclose, in annual reporting from 2021:
- Short, medium and long-term targets for reductions in our company’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (Targets) that are aligned with articles 2.1(a) and 4.1 of the Paris Agreement (Paris Goals);
- Details of how our company’s exploration and capital expenditure, including each material investment in the acquisition or development of oil and gas reserves, is aligned with the Paris Goals; and
- Details of how the company’s remuneration policy will incentivise progress against the Targets.
Nothing in this resolution should be read as limiting the Board’s discretion to take decisions in the best interests of our company, or to limit the disclosure of commercial-in-confidence information.
Article 2.1(a) of The Paris Agreement states the goal of “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” Article 4.1 of The Paris Agreement: In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. ↩︎