The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) and its CEO Andrew McConville have issued an apology to the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) for their comments published in The Australian on 4 May, 2021
On 4-5 May 2021, The Australian newspaper published an article which referred to a submission that APPEA made to the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth inquiry into the prudential regulation of investment in Australia’s export industries. The article contained statements by Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration (APPEA) CEO, Andrew McConville, that were not part of the APPEA submission, suggesting that the ACCR engages in dishonest or dodgy shareholder tactics to unjustifiably stop oil and gas projects.
APPEA and Andrew McConville accept that there is nothing dishonest or dodgy about the ACCR, as a shareholder in ASX-listed companies, co-filing shareholder-initiated resolutions.
APPEA also accepts that it may hold different views to the ACCR about the best interests of shareholders who are the owners of the companies which comprise much of APPEA’s membership.
APPEA and Andrew McConville sincerely apologise to the ACCR, its Committee of Office Bearers, Research Committee and staff for any damage caused by the comments in the article.
Downloadable pdf version.
Commenting on APPEA’s apology, James Fitzgerald, Legal Counsel at ACCR said:
“ACCR accepts as sincere the apology of APPEA and its CEO Andrew McConville. We trust that APPEA and Mr McConville will observe the usual courtesies of public debate in our future dealings.
“We welcome informed, robust public debate, but we will not tolerate attacks on our integrity.
“The existential risks posed by climate change are acknowledged globally. Australia faces significant challenges in making the necessary adjustments to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. All of us should be working cooperatively towards a fair and just transition to a carbon-neutral future for our own sake and for future generations’.
“Fossil fuels have underpinned this country’s development and prosperity for almost two centuries. However it is abundantly clear now that to avoid the worst of climate change; to secure our economic future; and to meet Australia’s existing international climate commitments, there is no choice but to make the transition to producing and using less harmful forms of energy.
“In recent years we have seen major write-downs in the value of some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. It is in shareholders’ interest that fossil fuel companies and their representative associations develop and implement comprehensive and credible transition plans now, rather than waste time attacking advocates of orderly transition. Climate “activists” include bankers, insurers and regulators. They’re people with extensive business experience and financial acumen.
“Apologising to ACCR, APPEA “accepts that it may hold different views to the ACCR about the best interests of shareholders who are the owners of the companies which comprise much of APPEA’s membership.”
“This is an encouraging step towards APPEA reflecting upon whether its advocacy is always compatible with the longer-term interests of its member companies’ shareholders. We hope this leads APPEA towards promoting an orderly and prompt transition from fossil fuels to less harmful renewable energy sources.”
“ACCR is ready and willing to partner with APPEA in that effort.”