Woodside’s debt dressed up as equity in climate-wrecking project
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on Woodside Petroleum’s (ASX:WPL) announcement that it has reached a final investment decision (FID) on Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 developments.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Woodside has declared war on the climate by reaching FID on the single largest fossil fuel project in Australia in recent memory.
“Woodside will be responsible for US$6.9 billion of the US$12 billion project, which poses an unacceptable level of risk to shareholders.
“Woodside’s agreement with Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will see it assume responsibility for all of the legal and regulatory risk, and bear the cost of any overruns. It’s debt dressed up as equity.
“Woodside is a consistent failure in delivering projects on time and on budget. In 2010-11, the cost of Pluto LNG blew out by AU$2 billion and was more than nine months overdue.
“Woodside’s failure to mention climate change or emissions in its 4-page media release announcing the project tells you everything you need to know about the company.
“Woodside falsely claims that LNG supplied from Pluto “will assist [its] customers to achieve their decarbonisation goals”. This is a blatantly misleading claim for which no credible evidence has ever been provided.
“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.
“Any assumption by Woodside that the climate movement will abandon its opposition to the Scarborough project now that FID has been reached is sorely misplaced. Post-COP26, activists committed to a safe climate will only become more determined.
“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.
“Woodside is aggressively pursuing expansion while major trading partners such as Japan and Korea are taking active steps to decrease LNG demand, effectively ignoring the risk of stranded assets. Shareholders should demand Woodside abandon its expansion plans.”
Woodside has committed to giving shareholders an advisory vote on its climate plan, or a ‘Say on Climate’, at its 2022 AGM.