Energy|Gas|Oil And Gas|Oil-and-gas|Products|Environmental
Energy|Gas|Oil And Gas|Oil-and-gas|Products|Environmental

Woodside under climate pressure from Australia's pension body

12th April 2024

By: Bloomberg


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Some of Australia’s top pension funds have been advised to oppose Woodside Energy Group’s climate strategy, potentially adding pressure on the energy producer over its approach to emissions.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, a group which represents funds holding about A$1.9-trillion under management, told members the company’s plans are not sufficiently developed, according to a document seen by Bloomberg News.

Members should vote against the climate strategy in a non-binding vote scheduled at an annual meeting on April 24 in Perth, according to the ACSI document.

“The company is yet to make significant progress investing in large scale abatement or new energy products,” ACSI said. “It is also unclear how the company will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions beyond 2030.”

Woodside — one of Australia’s largest polluters — has set out plans to make a 15% reduction to its net equity scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and is planning new measures to curb scope 3 pollution.

The strategy “reflects and responds to investor feedback on climate issues,” and shows how the producer can deliver a low-cost, low-carbon portfolio, Woodside said Thursday in a statement.

Australia’s A$3.7-trillion pensions industry has been under increasing scrutiny over investments in polluting companies, and has been publicly pressured by environmental groups to divest.

The nation’s largest pension fund, AustralianSuper, which holds more than 3% of Woodside, has “been engaging with the company on its approach to climate change and its strategy to transition to a net zero economy,” according to a statement. The fund didn’t specify if it will vote against the climate plan.

Woodside has been criticized by some investors and campaigners over plans to invest billions in new oil and gas production, and over climate targets that are regarded as too weak. Chairman Richard Goyder faces opposition to his reelection at the annual meeting over those issues, and complaints about his engagement with some holders.

Goyder is “a highly capable and effective leader” and continues to provide valuable insight and stewardship, Woodside said. ACSI did not recommended members vote against his reelection.

Edited by Bloomberg



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