WDS) The climate change stance has divided views as an investor vote approaches – Business News (Trending Perfect)


While CGI Glass Lewis noted an improvement in Goyder's acknowledgment of investors' climate concerns, he said it must still be held accountable for its “track record of rebuffing shareholder dissent and a continuing lack of adequate disclosure”. It also pointed to the damage to Qantas' reputation under Goyder's watch, including the illegal dismissal of 1,700 ground crew members in 2020 and the launch of legal proceedings alleging the carrier was selling tickets for flights it canceled during 2022.

In its flagship report, ISS supports Goyder's re-election to another term, on the basis that the board has been responsive to climate concerns, and that it has committed to presenting its climate strategy to investors for approval every three years.

Proxy Counsel Ownership Matters recommends supporting Richard Goyder for re-election.

Proxy Counsel Ownership Matters recommends supporting Richard Goyder for re-election.credit: Trevor Collins

However, separate advice issued to ISS customers seeking to focus more on sustainability, which was applied to their voting decisions, concluded that a vote against Goyder was justified because Woodside was not consistent with investors' expectations of a net-zero emissions commitment. Zero.

A third proxy advisor, Ownership Matters, recommends Goyder's re-election and Woodside's climate plan. It said Woodside had provided investors with sufficient information to form a judgment about how it seeks to manage climate risks, as well as why it believes expanding gas production is consistent with global climate goals.

Woodside hopes investors will re-elect Goyder. He describes him as a highly competent and effective leader who provides “valuable vision, oversight and strength to the board.” The company presents its updated climate plan as a “material step forward” from previous disclosures outlining its strategy to reduce emissions and invest in the energy transition.

As Australia's largest LNG producer, Woodside says greater supplies of the fuel are needed to meet Asia's ongoing energy demand and achieve global decarbonisation goals by enabling greater uptake of clean energy. Woodside says LNG, which emits half the typical life cycle emissions of coal, could replace coal-fired power by providing a boost to renewables when wind and solar generation is low.


However, LNG is also a major source of emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane, which scientists say must urgently be reduced to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

A growing number of investors are increasingly asking questions about the outlook for gas and the risks associated with developing new gas fields in a world that is getting serious about avoiding catastrophic climate change and phasing out the consumption of all fossil fuels.

The $81 billion pension fund HESTA, which owns Woodside shares, has asked the company to consider new independent director candidates with skills related to the energy transition and business transformation.

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