Media release: Woodside AGM demonstrates incoherent policy on climate change

2 May 2019: ActionAid Australia has called out Woodside Energy for its incoherent approach on climate change following their Annual General Meeting on Thursday afternoon. The group also criticised Woodside’s claims that its huge greenfield oil project in Senegal, the ‘SNE field development’, would promote development for the West African nation.


Under considerable pressure from shareholders on the issue of climate change, Woodside touted its commitment to action on climate change, attempting to focus attention on the fact that gas is a lower-emission fuel compared to other fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

When asked about the large greenfield oil project, however, CEO Peter Coleman affirmed Woodside’s commitment to crude oil and also argued that the project would bring much needed development to Senegal.

According to ActionAid Australia, the SNE project is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement, inconsistent with Woodside’s own approach on climate change, and a huge threat to women and their communities living in poverty in Senegal.

“Woodside would like us to believe that it doesn’t have its ‘head in the sand’ when it comes to climate change – but the company is utterly failing to acknowledge that this is completely inconsistent with its focus on opening up a massive new oil field off Senegal’s coastline.

“This would be the first ever offshore oil development in an environment that is extremely sensitive and on which many communities rely on for their livelihoods and food security.

“If this project goes ahead, it could have potentially devastating consequences for Senegal’s coastal communities, and especially women, who are already struggling to feed their families due to the pressures of overfishing and climate change,” said ActionAid Australia Head of Policy and Campaigns Lucy Manne.

ActionAid Australia, Jubilee Australia, and Caritas Australia made a submission to Efic, Australia’s export credit agency, outlining concerns and calling for Efic not to invest taxpayer-backed funds in the SNE field development.

The submission found that the project was unlikely to have any benefit to the Senegal community, was inconsistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and would potentially entrench poverty and food insecurity for the local women in affected communities along Senegal’s coastline.