This briefing has been produced as an aid for shareholder voting decisions on director re-election at Woodside's 2023 Annual General Meeting.
Announcements in the run-up to Woodside’s 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, 28 April have raised concerns amongst investors about the company's climate commitments and the extent to which its business strategy is aligned with efforts to deliver on the Paris Agreement's goals. Some shareholders including LGIM, VisionSuper and Betashares have declared their intention to vote against the renewal of the company's top directors due to these concerns. Proxy advisers Glass Lewis and the sustainability arm of Institutional Shareholder Services have also recommended investors vote against the re-election of key directors at Woodside.
This briefing summarizes InfluenceMap's assessment of Woodside's climate policy positions and engagement, which can be viewed as a strong indicator of corporate governance and management-level thinking on the transition to a net-zero economy.
InfluenceMap’s analysis suggests that Woodside appears to be unsupportive in its engagement with specific climate-related policies in Australia. The company also appears to have consistently supported a major role for fossil gas and oil in the energy mix in 2022 and 2023. At the same time, Woodside maintains a vast network of highly oppositional industry associations, which have successfully weakened numerous climate policies globally, and continue to advocate for oil and gas build out.
Such advocacy is at odds with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency about how to reach net-zero by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5C. Both bodies have found the need to reduce the exploration, production, infrastructure and use of oil and gas significantly to meet international climate targets.