Live Lobbying Updates & Resources

Live Lobbying Updates

AGL CEO unsupportive of phasing out coal

18 May 2022

In a 13th May article by the Australian Financial Review, AGL’s CEO Graeme Hunt did not appear to support the early closure of coal power plants in Australia. Hunt instead emphasized the costs to transition away and replace coal power.

Mazda appears unsupportive of ICE vehicle phase-out

11 May 2022

In a 7th May Drive news article, Vinesh Bhindi, Managing Director of Mazda Australia, appeared unsupportive of the electrification of road transportation, stating that: "In Australia the internal combustion engine – like in many other parts of the world – still has a way to go.” Referring to ICE bans in other markets, he said that "Australia is in a different place and there are many other parts of the world that are going to be different".

Woodside CEO advocates for new fossil gas projects

27 April 2022

In a 22nd April interview, Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill stated that Australia should consider reviving stalled mega fossil gas projects in the Timor Sea and Western Australia as the world moves away from Russian exports. She added ‘It’s no longer about the bottom line, it’s about doing what’s right’ and ‘demands from activists for oil and gas to “go away overnight” were not pragmatic’.

Santos advocates for fossil gas in senate testimony

30 March 2022

On the 25th March, Santos gave testimony at the senate inquiry in to oil and gas exploration at the Beetaloo Basin. The company stated that fossil gas will continue to play an important role for ‘at least the next two decades’, and appeared to support the continuation of fossil fuel subsidies to ‘accelerate the development of new natural gas sources’. The company also stated how its fossil gas can reduce energy poverty in Asia and contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Woodside fails to publish report that found additional LNG would increase emissions

24 March 2022

On 21st March, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Woodside had commissioned the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to produce a report on emission levels from additional LNG in Asia. The report found that increasing gas supply could prolong coal, displace renewables and increase emissions. The report was shelved by Woodside, and they simultaneously continued to claim that increasing LNG would reduce emissions.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive called for approval of a coal mine project

09 March 2022

In a March 3rd media release, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane called for the approval of the New Acland Mine Stage 3 project, which will expand this Queensland coal mine. Macfarlane stated that “the world, especially Europe, needs Queensland’s high-quality commodities now more than ever”, and that Queensland coal has a role to play in energy security.

APPEA voices opposition to NSW offshore exploration ban

24 February 2022

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) CEO Andrew McConville called the decision by the NSW government to effectively ban offshore exploration as ‘really short-sighted’, adding that “A blanket ban on exploration and development of valuable resources without consultation with the industry and without reference to the already well-established regulatory framework is politically disappointing and policy light.”

Australian energy companies unsupportive of Integrated System Plan

16 February 2022

Delta Electricity, Origin Energy, AGL all appeared to respond negatively to the Australian Energy Market Operators (AOMC) consultation on the Integrated System Plan (ISP), a roadmap for the whole energy system, which includes a net zero by 2050 target in its remit.

The companies did not appear to support the most ambitious scenarios presented by the AOMC for the 2022 ISP. Delta Electricity appeared to oppose the notion that coal-fired generators would close sooner than expected, while Origin stated there was a ‘disconnect’ between the AEMO’s models and what can be practically achieved.

Separately, AGL moved its coal generator closure dates to 2045, 13 years after the AEMO ‘step change’ scenario envisages, with AGL CEO Graeme Hunt describing the models as ‘not credible’

CEC supports Tasmania's 2030 net zero target and pushes for electrification

02 February 2022

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) advocated for the Tasmanian government to phase-out fossil gas use in the state by 2030 to match its net zero target and pushed for rapid electrification in its consultation submission on the Future Gas Strategy.

BCA welcomes Labor's climate plan

03 December 2021

The Business Council of Australia’s CEO Jennifer Westacott welcomed the Labor Party’s climate plan, as well as support for an increased 2030 GHG emission reduction target. While she did state support for Labor’s plan, she also stated that climate policies should ‘take advantage of Australia’s natural resources’ without stating specifics.

Australian industry groups urge government to raise climate ambition

11 November 2021

The Business Council of Australia, Ai Group and Australian Energy Council, through their membership to the Australian Climate Roundtable, released a statement urging the Australian government to build on its 2050 target and to raise ambition.

Specifically, they state that achieving the emissions goals set out at the Paris Agreement was vital for the future of Australian prosperity while also advocating for an increase to Australia’s 2030 NDC target as well as federal policy to help achieve net zero emissions, while stressing that failure to do this could harm competitiveness and result in Australia being left behind in a decarbonized world.

Business Council of Australia shift position on the emissions reduction target

14 October 2021

The Business Council of Australia pledged its support for a greenhouse gas reduction target of 46-50% by 2030. This marks a change of tune from the association, having described a 45% target as 'economy wrecking 'back in 2018. However, the energy minister Angus Taylor quickly rejected this call and likened it to a carbon tax.

Cold response to the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap from the energy sector

24 August 2021

The consultation responses to Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap were released, The roadmap aims to decarbonize Victoria’s energy network in order for it to achieve it's net-zero by 2050 target. The industry-response however appears to be widely negative, with only 2 out of the 11 entities covered by InfluenceMap supporting a phase-out of natural gas, the Australian Energy Council and the Clean Energy Council, with also a general lukewarm response for hydrogen (6) and biogas (7), and an even less enthusiastic response to electrification (4).

Mixed reaction to CBAM in Australia

27 July 2021

There has been a mixed response to the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) by Australian industry groups. ABC News reported on July 16th that Minerals Council of Australia CEO, Tania Constable, heavily criticized the CBAM stating that “achieving net-zero emissions requires a concerted effort on new technologies, not trade protection.” Ai Group CEO, Innes Willox, challenged the claim that the CBAM amounts to protectionism, and also appeared to support a “ramp down” in free emissions allowances under the mechanism, as reported by AFR on July 15th. In the same article, Carbon Market Institute CEO, John Connor, did not take a clear position on the CBAM, but warned of its indirect impact on Asian markets as other countries develop their own “punitive mechanisms” in response.

Australian resource associations back EPBC reforms

23 June 2021

The Australian resource sector has released a joint statement calling on the federal government to pass amendments to the Environmental Protection And Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act which is to be debated in parliament this week. An independent review in to the bill last year concluded that it was in urgent need of reform, however the government has adopted only a few of the 38 suggestions provided by the review. The reforms have been critisized by academics who argue it will weaken the policy, and only speed up the approval process for new resource projects, and would provide little additional environmental protection.

Whitehaven Coal CEO supports coal and gas

18 May 2022

Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn published a guest article in the Financial Review on 18th May, titled “There is no green energy transition without coal to back it up”. In the article, Flynn stated that Australian coal and gas have a vital role to play in the country’s energy transition, supported a technology neutral transition, and appeared unsupportive of the use of renewables in Europe in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Rio Tinto advocate for renewables ramp up in Australia

11 May 2022

In a May 5th Financial Review article, Rio Tinto CEO, Jakob Stausholm, stated that Australia is “not developing renewable energy fast enough” and stressed that the country needs to focus on what it can do to stimulate the development of renewable energy. Stausholm also appeared to support the closure of coal-fired power stations in Australia. This comes at the same time that Rio Tinto’s climate action plan saw opposition from shareholders, who noted that the company’s scope 3 emissions dwarf its operational emissions.

Australian industry groups support halting additional carbon taxes in mining

20 April 2022

In a 19th April report by Mining Weekly, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, Minerals Council Australia, and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia appeared to support Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to halt any additional carbon taxes in the mining sector should the Coalition government remain in power. This follows a package of campaign promises from Morrison, including a $50-million investment in domestic mineral supply-chains.

Origin supports fossil fuel subsidies in senate testimony

30 March 2022

On the 25th March, Origin gave testimony at the senate inquiry into oil and gas exploration at the Beetaloo Basin, in which it appeared to support the long-term role of fossil gas in the energy mix, as well as stating support for fossil fuel subsidies.

APPEA promotes the future role of LNG within an Australian government report

16 March 2022

In a report released on the 23rd February by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources titled 'Global Resources Strategy Commodity Report: Liquefied Natural Gas', APPEA provided a two-page contribution titled 'Think LNG, Think Australia' where it promoted the role of LNG in Australia, citing the demand from Asia, stable investment environments and its contribution to 'cleaner' energy as reasons why Australia should invest in becoming an LNG exporter. It also adds that Australia should 'enhance' its ability to attract investment in its fossil gas projects.

QRC chief executive stated coal-fired power stations will close in a decade in Australia

09 March 2022

In a March 3rd news article, ABC News reported that Ian Macfarlane, the chief executive of Queensland Resources Council (QRC), believed that domestic Australian coal-fired power stations could be closed within a decade. Macfarlane said that “domestic coal-fired generation is rapidly approaching the time when it will close and that might be within the decade”, particularly considering the accelerated closure of other stations across Australia.

This admission is unprecedented, particularly as QRC has consistently supported coal in the energy mix, including in a February 2022 press release wherein Macfarlane stated that the council was engaging with government to support coal and gas under Queensland’s draft Resources Industry Development Plan.

APPEA promote the role of fossil gas in SA election

24 February 2022

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) released an ‘election platform’ that called for all parties in South Australia to recognize a key role for fossil gas in a clean energy future and to safeguard the investment environment in the run-up to the state election in mid-March.

Santos supporting CCS as critical to achieve emissions goals

09 February 2022

Santos has become the first company in the world to ‘book’ CO2 storage capacity from its new Moomba CCS project, with Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher stating that CCS is a ‘critical technology’ needed to achieve global emissions goals. Santos will also be eligible to sell carbon credits generated from Moomba CCS back to the federal government, or to the private market.

APPEA pushes the role for fossil gas to help achieve net zero

02 February 2022

The Australian Petroleum and Production and Exploration Association, or APPEA, stated that natural gas and blue hydrogen should be the centrepiece of this year’s Australian budget, claiming an investment allowance for fossil projects, tax incentives and new technology can unlock the path to net zero emissions by 2050.

APPEA acknowledges Labor's climate plan

03 December 2021

In a press release, it was unclear whether the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) supported Labor’s Powering Australia Plan. It acknowledged the increased greenhouse gas reduction target without expressing a position, but appeared to support the clarity the plan offered. Nevertheless, APPEA urged the need to attach conditions to the plan's ambition, such as policy must secure economic growth, and appeared to support provisions to protect trade-exposed industry, including the LNG sector. APPEA also appeared to advocate for the use of international credits in the Safeguard Mechanism, as well as stating the scheme should allow for the continued investment in oil and gas.

Whitehaven pushes for continued coal investments in response to net zero announcement

04 November 2021

In response to Australia’s announcement of a net-zero by 2050 target, Whitehaven Coal has called for continued investment in fossil fuels, including coal, for decades. Whitehaven Coal Chairman, Mark Vaile, highlighted the global energy crisis to emphasize the risks of shifting away from coal as part of Australia’s net-zero push.

Bluescope Steel support steel decarbonization policies

08 September 2021

In September 2021, Bluescope Steel published a Climate Action Report strongly supporting policy measures to decarbonize the steel industry in Australia, including increased hydrogen production and renewable electricity, but stressed that government regulation must avoid carbon leakage.

Australian companies support coal and gas subsidies

22 August 2021

The Australian Financial Review has reported that several Australian energy and utility companies, including CLP Holdings (EnergyAustralia), Delta Electricity, Origin Energy and Alinta Energy have sent a letter to policymakers stating support for government reform that would pay coal and gas generators to guarantee future capacity, with a likelihood to continue a role for coal in the energy mix.

APPEA and Woodside oppose restriction on capital on Australia's natural gas and LNG

29 June 2021

Both APPEA and Woodside submitted comments to the Inquiry into the prudential regulation of investment in Australia’s export industries, with Woodside warning against any restriction on capital on LNG would be detrimental to Australia’s long-term interests. While APPEA stated that Australia’s natural gas resources need to be developed to deliver on it’s Paris Agreement commitments, and added that substantial amounts of capital would be required to do so which is placed under risk by ‘incomplete information and a lack of understanding of the opportunity Australia can play, or of the negative impact constraining that capital will have on our ability to meet those objectives’ and that ‘information asymmetry by the broader finance sector, fuelled by the political agendas of shareholder activists, risks creating a capital drought’.

APPEA play down the IEA report

26 May 2021

APPEA released a press release attempting to play down the IEA’s net-zero report. APPEA CEO Mr McConville stated that the net-zero emissions (NZE) scenario is just one possible scenario and that negative emissions will allow for the construction of future oil and gas fields.

APPEA chairman advocates for new oil and gas developments

17 May 2022

In a May 17th Australian Financial Review article, APPEA chairman Ian Davies reportedly advocated for investments in new oil and gas developments at the current APPEA conference. He stated that as a net importer of oil, Australia should invest in new oil developments to ensure energy security, while also advocating for current refineries to remain open.

AdBri appear unsupportive of strengthening Safeguard Mechanism

04 May 2022

On May 2nd, the Daily Telegraph published an article discussing AdBri’s position on Labor’s proposals for Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism. AdBri CEO Nick Miller appeared unsupportive of Labor’s proposal to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism, with the article stating that the company was “cautious” about the proposal. Miller stated that, since the cement and steel industries are hard to abate sectors, changes to the Safeguard Mechanism need to be “very carefully thought through” to ensure that investments in the sectors are not stifled.

Queensland Resources Council CEO supports increasing domestic gas supply

06 April 2022

On March 30th, Mining Weekly reported that Queensland Resources Council (QRC) CEO Ian Macfarlane supported the Australian federal government’s 2022/23 budget, specifically backing the government’s commitment to develop a reliable supply of domestic gas. Macfarlane appeared to support an increase in gas in the energy mix, citing that current “geopolitical uncertainty” supports the case for more local supply chains of gas.

Australian Energy Council opposes Victoria's renewable energy target

30 March 2022

On the 16th of March, the Financial Review reported that the Australian Energy Council (AEC) opposed Victoria’s target of generating 20 per cent of its energy from offshore wind within a decade. AEC stated that the target would drive up energy prices, and that pursuing it would negatively affect public support for decarbonization.

CMEWA states support for the the Greenhouse Gas Storage and Transport Bill

16 March 2022

On 9th March, Australian Mining reported that the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia supported the draft of a new bill titled the Greenhouse Gas Storage and Transport Bill. This bill aims to support the development of emission reduction technologies such as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) and mineral carbonation in Western Australia.

ANGEA support further LNG investment in Australia

24 February 2022

Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) Chairman and President of Chevron Eurasia Pacific Nigel Hearne stated support for the Australian government’s ‘Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Commodities Report’ which called for increased trade and investment in Australia’s LNG sector. In the statement, Chairman Hearne called LNG an ‘affordable and reliable energy’ that would be ‘fundamental to achieving regional decarbonization objectives’.

Clean Energy Council, Iberdrola and Fortescue Metals support ambitious pathways for Australian Integrated System Plan

16 February 2022

The Clean Energy Council, Iberdrola and Fortescue Metals Group all responded positively to the Australian Energy Market Operators consultation on the Integrated System Plan, a roadmap for the whole energy system, which includes a net zero by 2050 target in its remit. They each stated support for the most ambitious pathways that would result in net zero emissions in the energy sector being achieved by 2035 and coal being phased-out even sooner than expected.

Queensland Resources Council lobbied in support of coal and gas

09 February 2022

In a February 2022 press release, CEO Ian Macfarlane stated that the Queensland Resources Council is engaging with the State Government to support coal and gas under Queensland’s draft Resources Industry Development Plan (RIDP), alongside new technologies such as hydrogen and ammonia. The RIDP, currently under consultation, sets out a vision for Queensland’s resources industry over the next 30 years.

Ai Group fully supports Labor's climate plan

03 December 2021

The CEO of the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), Innes Willox, supported the Labor Party’s climate plan, while also supporting their proposed increased greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030. He also stated support for the baselines in the Safeguard Mechanism to be reduced to aid abatement.

Santos supports the Australian National Gas Infrastructure Plan

26 November 2021

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher was reported by The Guardian to have supported the National Gas Infrastructure Plan that was released this week (26th November), which includes the development of at least one new gas basin in the country. He stated that 'The scarcity of new developments on the east coast is frightening' and failure to unlock new domestic gas supplies in Australia would lead to increased imports.

Corporate support for Australia's net zero target, but less vocal on any NDC update

28 October 2021

There was broad support for Australia’s net zero ‘plan’ that was finally confirmed this week. The countries top fossil fuel association, APPEA, supported the target but also stressed that increased natural gas exploration would be required to achieve it. The government has not updated its NDC’s for 2030 which are considerable lower compared to similar nations, and only the Ai Group and Clean Energy Council stressed the need for the Australian government to set a higher NDC.

CBI welcomes the UK hydrogen strategy

24 August 2021

CBI has welcomed the UK Hydrogen Strategy, applauding it as a roadmap for “low-carbon hydrogen” that will be vital for carbon-intensive sectors. It also advocated for the Government to consider using business rates exemptions to incentivize energy efficiency measures.

APPEA reiterated support for expanding ARENA's remit

04 August 2021

APPEA again stated its support to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) remit being expanded to cover CCS. The move was attempted in June but lost in the senate, now the government has made minor amendments and is trying again, although it is still likely to be heavily contested in the senate once more.

Minerals Council of Australia backed expanding the mandate of ARENA

29 June 2021

The Minerals Council of Australia did not support the decision by the Australian Senate to vote down proposals to water down the mandate of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Energy Minister Angus Taylor had proposed to expand ARENA’s remit beyond renewables to fund the development of carbon capture and storage and “blue” hydrogen produced with gas.

APGA and Santos support Australia's National Gas Infrastructure Plan

12 May 2021

Both the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) and Santos have stated their support for the National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP)interim report that was released this week). The NGIP is a proposed taxpayer-funded scheme being developed by the Federal Government to build new gas pipelines, and is a major part of the Morrison governments ‘Gas-Fired Recovery’.

Reports & Briefings

Federal Election Lobbying Briefing-May 2022

May 2022

This briefing contains an overview of the corporate lobbying detected by InfluenceMap related to the federal election in Australia for the month of May 2022.

Australia:
Key Lobbying Updates Jan-Sept 2021

This Lobbying Update provides details of corporate lobbying on key policies in 2021 thus far, including the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap, the inquiry into the prudential regulation of investment in Australia's export industries, the gas-fired recovery plan, the remit expansion to ARENA, and post 2025 market design options. InfluenceMap will continue to provide corporate lobbying updates regularly on this platform.

Does Corporate Australia Support Paris-Aligned Climate Policy?

September 2021

InfluenceMap's new research looked at the 50 most economically significant companies in Australia in relation to climate change and their potential to influence climate policy. The research found that none are strategically supporting Australian climate policy in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In contrast, nearly half of the companies assessed hold policy positions that are misaligned from the goals of the Paris Agreement. Full details are on InfluenceMap's interactive platform.

Australian Industry Associations and their Carbon Policy Footprint

September 2020

This research finds that Australia’s most influential industry associations are having an overwhelmingly negative impact on climate policy, with 75% of the groups assessed taking positions against climate regulations while promoting a pro-fossil fuel agenda. This research is part of InfluenceMap’s ongoing research on corporate climate lobbying, which feeds into investor processes globally. The results will be of prime interest to numerous asset managers and owners currently engaging on the topic with corporations operating in Australia.

This research finds that Australia’s most influential industry associations are having an overwhelmingly negative impact on climate policy, with 75% of the groups assessed taking positions against climate regulations while promoting a pro-fossil fuel agenda.

BHP and Rio Tinto:
Their Industry Groups and Climate Lobbying

May 2020

This analysis highlights a trend whereby companies and industry groups are engaging with investors and the media by focusing attention on top-line positive statements on climate while distracting stakeholders from the important details that conversely show patterns of opposition to science-based climate policy.

Corporate Carbon Policy Footprint - the 50 Most Influential

October 2019

The 50 Corporations Shaping the Global Climate Agenda

Industry Groups and their Carbon Footprints

September 2019

US Lobbyists Dominate the List of the World's Most Influential and Negative on Climate

BHP and its Trade Associations on Climate

December 2017

The global mining giant has just published a review of climate/energy misalignments between it and its key lobby groups - InfluenceMap fact checks this for accuracy and completeness.

Trade Associations and their Climate Policy Footprint

December 2017

Industry groups are key lobbying agents for business - we use our analytics to pick out the 50 most influential on climate.

Corporate Carbon Policy Footprint - the 50 Most Influential

September 2017

InfluenceMap has identified the 50 companies most influential in shaping climate and energy policy around the world. Some of these (such as ExxonMobil) are in opposition while others (such as Apple and Unilever) are championing ambitious national-level policy to support their decarbonization plans...

Press Releases

Date
Title
Download
12/04/2021
Australia
Energy Policy
Fossil Fuels
05/05/2021
Australia
Climate Policy Lobbying
Finance and Climate Risk
Sustainable Finance