ACCR's engagement with Origin Energy Limited
ACCR has been engaging with Origin Energy Limited on four key issues:
Fracking and free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory
Origin Energy is planning to frack gasfields in the Beetaloo Basin, Northern Territory (NT), and Indigenous communities have raised concerns that petroleum exploration permits have been granted without proper consent processes in place. ACCR is asking Origin to explain how they are establishing free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from Aboriginal Traditional Owners and communities for fracking projects in the NT.
Read more: Jumbunna (UTS) 2018 Research report on Hydraulic Fracturing and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the NT
The IPCC 1.5°C report recommends that in order to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, gas must play a diminishing role in primary energy supply. Failing to limit global warming to 1.5°C will seriously impact the functioning of our financial systems and society at large. Companies which do not put in place appropriate plans will likely face rapid and terminal loss of social license and value. We are urging Origin to set and publish short, medium and long-term emissions reduction targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Adverse climate lobbying by industry groups
Origin is a member of a number of industry lobby groups (or ‘industry associations’) which have obstructed positive climate and energy policy in Australia for years. ACCR wants Origin to conduct a comprehensive review of their indirect and direct lobbying on energy and climate change, including through industry associations of which Origin is a member. In 2018, our shareholder resolution on this issue gained 46% of shareholder support, the largest vote for any shareholder proposal without Board support in Australian corporate history.
Public health risks of air pollution from coal operations
The burning of coal to generate electricity is a major contributor to climate change, and it produces air pollution and coal ash, both of which are harmful to public health. We are calling on Origin to disclose the risk of public health impacts from the Eraring coal-fired power station in NSW, which it owns and operates. We also want Origin to publish a financial assessment of the capital and operating expenditure required to retrofit and maintain Eraring with modern pollution controls.
In August 2019, ACCR lodged shareholder resolutions relating to each of the above issues, to be heard at Origin’s October 2019 AGM. Read the full text of the resolutions and the supporting statements here.