Politics

Woodside’s fossil fuel focus could push our climate over the edge

Climate polluter Woodside is constructing its enterprise technique across the absurd notion that the very factor driving the local weather disaster ought to proceed as a part of the emergency response, writes David Ritter.

THIS WEEK a gaggle of executives, politicians, attorneys and others met in Brisbane to debate find out how to improve human struggling and speed up the destruction of the pure world.

The occasion was the 59th annual convention and exhibition of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), which is the height nationwide physique for Australia’s upstream oil and gasoline exploration and manufacturing trade.

The world’s prime specialists have referred to as time on the oil and gasoline trade as a result of it is likely one of the predominant drivers of local weather change. According to the IPCC, if we’re to have any hope of attaining the internationally-agreed Paris local weather purpose to restrict international heating to 1.5°C, present fossil gasoline infrastructure can’t be totally utilised.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has indicated that there ought to be no new oil and gasoline fields opened up (from 2021 onwards). Scientists have warned that humanity faces ‘untold suffering’ if we don’t start decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions at emergency pace and scale.

Fossil fuel giants hit by court rulings over climate impacts

Accordingly, the target of APPEA ought to now be the everlasting winding up of those industries at charges suitable with the internationally-agreed Paris local weather targets, while particular person oil and gasoline firms ought to now be engaged in speedy transition planning.

Heavy focus ought to be on growing enterprise methods to pivot to new merchandise and income streams as rapidly as potential — most clearly within the renewable power sector.

Instead, a lot of the individuals on the APPEA convention (lots of whom presumably should have kids who might someday ask what their mother and father did throughout the years of breaking local weather emergency, the years that basically mattered to humanity) would look like intent on persevering with to perpetrate the wrongdoing of oil and gasoline exploration and growth.

In a latest speech, Australian creator Tim Winton spoke evocatively of fossil gasoline corporations “trafficking in cognitive distortion”. This willful perpetuation of complicated nonsense is promulgated the world over by innumerable powerpoints, slogans, graphics, commercials and smugly assured shows.

Where as soon as main fossil gasoline firms merely mocked local weather science and funded campaigns of denial, they now apply methods of deferral, delay and slick rationalisation.

And so it’s that Meg O’Neill, chief govt officer of Woodside fronted the APPEA shindig this week and claimed that “the imperative to decarbonise is as strong as it’s ever been”. This is similar Woodside that was lately singled out by the world’s largest investor engagement initiative on local weather change as among the many worst performers in Australia and globally.

Already one among Australia’s prime ten largest local weather polluters, Woodside is at the moment looking for to develop the Burrup Hub — which not solely poses large threats to ocean wildlife however is the most greenhouse gas-polluting infrastructure challenge at the moment being pushed ahead anyplace within the nation.

Ningaloo natural beauty under threat if Woodside has its way

It is tough to overstate the immorality of such schemes at this stage of the sport. Woodside is in self-serving denial of our actuality, constructing a complete future enterprise technique across the absurd notion that the very factor that’s driving the local weather emergency ought to proceed as a part of the response to the emergency.

During the Vietnam War, a well-known signal famous that ‘bombing for peace’ was as logical as ‘fucking for virginity’. Burning fossil fuels to battle local weather change is in the identical class of visceral ludicrousness.

As it occurs, Woodside’s rationalisations will come beneath renewed focus on the firm’s annual common assembly this week. Already, proxy advisory agency Glass Lewis has suggested of its suggestion to shareholders to vote down Woodside’s local weather report as missing enough substance. The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has made a related suggestion.

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres stated this yr that ‘investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness’. In Woodside’s case, it’s the madness of the sociopath — excessive functioning, disturbingly believable, mixing in with the established order as if there’s nothing to be seen right here.

But the our bodies are piling up. Every fraction of a level of temperature improve will have an effect that may be measured when it comes to human mortality and the extinction of species — and each huge polluter is knowingly culpable for this actuality.  

Rather than doubling down on increasing gasoline and oil manufacturing tasks, Woodside ought to be re-directing capital allocation to make sure alignment with the Paris Agreement.

This would imply discontinuing all at the moment meant fossil gasoline growth and shifting to deal with the world’s rising renewable power wants. 

David Ritter is the chief govt officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. You can comply with David on Twitter @David_Ritter.

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