Exposed: What Woodside tried to hide

Woodside’s purported aspiration to net zero emissions is hollow and unsupported by the oil and gas giant’s actions, analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation has found.

ACF’s analysis, titled What Woodside tried to hide, finds:

  • Woodside’s net zero aspiration excludes 92% of the company’s contribution to climate change by ignoring emissions from the combustion of the oil and gas it produces.
  • Woodside’s claim of an 11% reduction in net scope 1 and 2 emissions (those that come from running its offices, facilities and vehicles, for example) is entirely dependent on purchased offsets. Its gross emissions increased by 3% over the 2016-2020 period.
  • In 2022, Woodside’s expenditure on exploration for new oil and gas reserves was almost five times more than what it spent in 2021.

“Climate commitments that aren’t backed by robust strategy and action are greenwash,” said ACF’s corporate environmental performance analyst Audrey van Herwaarden.

“Net zero greenwashing poses a serious risk to humanity’s ability to tackle global warming, as it distracts from and delays concrete and credible action.

“Our analysis found Woodside’s so-called net zero aspiration conveniently disregards 92% of its climate impact by excluding the emissions that are generated when the company’s core product, fossil gas, is burnt.

“Even when it comes to the emissions that arise from operating its facilities and vehicles, Woodside has not made progress in reducing its impact on the climate. Its scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by 3% in 2022 compared with the average over 2016-2020.

“Despite this, the company claims it has reduced its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 11% over the same period by using carbon credits to offset emissions.

“In 2022, more than half of Woodside’s emissions offsets were derived from an ecosystem restoration and conservation project. While nature restoration projects are important, they do not stop the damage to the climate from the burning of Woodside’s oil and gas.

“Woodside’s board of directors appears to be trying to hoodwink communities, governments and investors with an artificial net zero aspiration, while the company blatantly pursues activities that undermine it.”

What Woodside tried to hide

Header pic: Heli Ry, iStockphoto

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