‘Desperate’ Woodside Energy rush approval on Australia’s biggest climate polluting project in wake of increasing public outrage and growing legal action

Woodside Energy’s decision to hastily fast track final investment decision on its toxic Scarborough gas drilling development without securing all necessary approvals for the project indicates desperation, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

In its ASX announcement, Woodside did not disclose the greenhouse gas implications of the project – the first component of the most climate polluting project in Australia’s history.

Responding to Woodside’s ASX announcement, Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said that the move reeked of desperation. 

“The International Energy Agency, one of the world’s most conservative energy bodies, has said that there should be no new coal or gas projects, and yet here is Woodside, like a bunch of vandals in the night, trying to rush this monstrous project through. Woodside is treating Australians, and in particular the people of Western Australia, with contempt.

“Public outrage at what Woodside has planned – the threats to whales, the marine environment, the WA coastline and the climate – will continue to grow. For so long as the company persists on this course, the corporate name of Woodside will become synonymous with the destruction of everything that Australians hold dear”.

Woodside’s announcement of FID comes mere days after announcing multinational infrastructure firm Global Infrastructure Partners’ intention to finance the part of the project, Australia’s biggest new fossil fuel investment in nearly a decade. 

The Scarborough Gas project, which is set to be Australia’s most climate polluting development ever proposed, still has a number of regulatory hurdles to clear, including an uncertain approvals process and an unresolved legal challenge to the primary approvals process in the WA Supreme Court.

A direct threat to some of Australia’s most extraordinary marine life, the Scarborough development involves blasting and dredging kilometers of seabed, driving giant concrete piles into the ocean floor and dumping millions of tons of crushed coral and rock within the Dampier Archipelago – the richest area of marine biodiversity in Western Australia – home to thousands of species of whales, sharks, fish, turtles and corals.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Stephen Milton on 0423584423 or [email protected]