Faceless investment giant teams up with Woodside for Australia’s most climate polluting project

Woodside Energy has convinced multinational infrastructure firm Global Infrastructure Partners to fund part of its toxic Scarborough gas drilling development, with Greenpeace Australia Pacific warning that it will escalate pressure to stop Australia’s most climate polluting project from going ahead.

After Woodside’s desperate struggle to find investors, Global Infrastructure Partners have agreed to finance part of the Pluto LNG 2 train, a crucial part of the infrastructure surrounding the Scarborough Gas Project, which is set to create more climate-destroying emissions than any project ever proposed in Australia.

Sam Regester, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigns Manager, said that both Woodside and Global Infrastructure Partners face significant Australian and international pressure.

“You have to wonder why Global Infrastructure Partners would make this decision given the commercial risks involved,” he said.

“Have Woodside given full disclosure to investors about the extent of community opposition to this dangerous project? Have Woodside given full disclosure about the climate and emissions implications, particularly in light of the recent COP26 agreement? Is it really in the interests of a discrete private equity fund to become involved in what is emerging as one of the biggest environmental and climate controversies in Australian history?”

“Two weeks ago Brookfield did the sensible thing and walked away from Scarborough – and now Global Infrastructure Partners have just painted a big green target on their backs by choosing to support one of Australia’s most dangerous and destructive gas projects,”

“Despite Global Infrastructure Partners’ blatant greenwashing, gas is a dangerous fossil fuel that’s driving climate change, and completely unnecessary in the energy transition to renewables. Woodside’s dangerous deep-sea gas drilling at Scarborough, if it goes ahead, will decimate irreplaceable marine environments, disrupt crucial whale migration routes and pump out billions of tonnes of toxic climate pollution. 

“It doesn’t matter which faceless investment giant Woodside teams up with. They’re still trying to build the most climate-polluting project ever in Australia, and we’re still going to stop them.”

The Scarborough gas project is highly likely to become a stranded asset with enormous decommissioning cost, likely to leave Western Australian taxpayers stuck with the cleanup bill. This already happened with Woodside’s Northern Endeavour decommissioned oil platform that cost taxpayers a billion dollars.

Any deal with an international corporation that leaves Australia with such significant risks is vulnerable to challenge from the Foreign Investment Review Board, making this a financially dangerous move for Global Infrastructure Partners.

Global Infrastructure Partners’ investment comes just after world leaders signed a global pledge to reduce methane emissions at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. With some of Australia’s biggest trading partners, including the US and European Union vowing to cut methane emissions by 30% within the next decade, the future of Australia’s toxic gas export market is far from certain.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Fiona Ivits on 0487 003 872 or [email protected]