Investors must rein in APPEA’s tobacco-inspired ad campaign
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the full page advertisements run across multiple newspapers today by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), claiming that gas is required for a cleaner energy future.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“This insidious advertising campaign, a week ahead of COP26, is a classic example of climate action delay tactics from the fossil fuel lobby, inspired by the tobacco industry.
“The production, transmission and combustion of oil and gas are some of the primary causes of climate change, not the solutions to this existential threat.
“In fact, gas creates just as many greenhouse emissions as coal when extracted and burned, when fugitive emissions are factored in.
“APPEA’s agenda is simple: to promote the expansion and longevity of oil and gas production. APPEA CEO, Andrew McConville, made this agenda loud and clear in relation to the current energy crisis in Europe: 'My hope is that it underscores the importance of hastening slowly'.
“APPEA continues to push the idea that increasing gas production is a necessary part of the transition, when the Australian Energy Markets Operator (AEMO), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have all concluded that we must severely contract our use of all fossil fuels - including gas - if we are to limit global warming to well below 2°C.
“The increasing concentration of methane in the atmosphere - with the warming potential 86 times that of carbon dioxide in the short term - is being driven by the oil and gas industry.
“These advertisements are precisely the type of advocacy that has alarmed shareholders in BHP, Origin Energy, Santos, Woodside.
“In the absence of government regulation, investors in APPEA’s member companies - including BHP, Origin Energy, Santos, Woodside - must call for an end to these misleading advertising campaigns.
“APPEA’s member companies have proven unwilling to take action on this advocacy. So investors must be willing to escalate their engagement to ensure the fossil fuel industry cannot stand in the way of effective climate action anymore.”
The following advertisement appeared in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Brisbane’s Courier Mail, Adelaide’s The Advertiser and The Australian on 25 October 2021.
ACCR’s shareholder resolution to Origin Energy on climate-related lobbying was supported by ~37% of shareholders on 20 October.