The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on Woodside Petroleum’s (ASX:WPL) sale of a 49% share in Pluto Train 2 Joint Venture to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), announced today.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Before the ink is even dry on the Glasgow Climate Pact, Woodside has hit the accelerator on the single largest new fossil fuel project in Australia in recent memory.
“Woodside falsely claims that LNG supplied from Pluto “will assist [its] customers to achieve their decarbonisation goals”. This is a blatant lie, it is misleading and deceptive. The extraction, processing and distribution of gas releases fugitive methane emissions which have been found to be as detrimental to climate change as burning coal.
“Woodside is planning to increase production by approximately 43% by 2028 and intends to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target by buying land-based offsets, rather than cutting production. Offsets must only be seen as a complement not a substitute for actual GHG reductions.
“Selling down Pluto will allow Woodside to acquire 100% ownership of the Scarborough gas field from BHP and the associated obligations to secure long term customers for this gas. This is a significant risk to take on in a decarbonising world.
“Woodside is aggressively progressing the Scarborough project even while major trading partners such as Japan and Korea are taking active steps to decrease LNG demand, effectively ignoring stranded asset risk. Shareholders should be demanding answers from Woodside..
“Contrary to Woodside’s claims, Scarborough gas is incompatible with keeping 1.5 degrees alive. Recent analysis by Carbon Tracker has determined that the Pluto Train 2 project is not even compatible with limiting warming to 2.7 degrees.
“Woodside has opposed climate action since the 1990s, and today is no different. The Scarborough project is a climate disaster, a climate investment risk and investors must attempt to stop it from going ahead.
“The risk allocation between GIP and Woodside on regulatory risks and cost overruns is entirely consistent with how Woodside is approaching the Scarborough project, which is to proceed at all costs.”
Woodside has committed to giving shareholders an advisory vote on its climate plan, or a ‘Say on Climate’, at its 2022 AGM.