Gas company Woodside’s temporary profit high is underscored by mounting climate risk, as environmental and market pressure grows around the company’s controversial Burrup Hub gas project, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Woodside posted first-half profits of $1.64 billion today but Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Clean Transitions Jess Panegyres warned investors that Woodside’s financial spike is destined to be short-lived.

“Woodside’s bullish confidence balances on the temporary global gas price spike, and there is every indication that as climate and economic risks around gas mount up, the house of cards will come falling down, taking shareholders with it,” she said.

“Woodside’s aggressive gas expansion isn’t grounded in climate reality, in a world that is racing to decarbonise. The company has failed to listen to shareholders’ calls to align its climate goals with the Paris Agreement, and this failure will become the iceberg that sinks Woodside’s buoyant period. In the last fortnight, Industry fund NGS Super dumped its Woodside shares after identifying the company as “at risk of becoming stranded assets as the world decarbonises.”“The International Energy Agency has reinforced that there is no room for new oil and gas production projects in the pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Many of Woodside’s biggest export markets, such as South Korea, China and Japan, have set decarbonisation goals.”

“Woodside is looking to war-affected European markets but faces mounting environmental pressure for its role in fuelling the climate crisis. Europe has suffered record-breaking climate impacts this summer, with the Danube river running dry and threatening vital German supply lines. Woodside’s gas plays a key role in driving dangerous climate change which has motivated Greenpeace Germany to run a series of powerful actions targeting Woodside’s two German offtakers, RWE and Uniper.”

“Woodside also faces multiple environmental, regulatory and legal challenges to its aggressive gas expansion plans, which heighten risk for shareholders  Woodside is currently facing two separate legal challenges to its Scarborough-Pluto 2 project and still needs four environmental approvals from the offshore oil and gas regulator, NOPSEMA, for Scarborough to proceed.”

Manfred Santen, marine expert at Greenpeace Germany, says: “Instead of investing all their energy in the development of renewable energies, companies like Woodside, RWE and Uniper prefer to invest in climate-damaging LNG projects that destroy biodiversity-rich marine areas. This runs counter to e.g. RWE’s grandiose ‘Growing Green’ plans with which the companies declared goal to become climate neutral by 2040,” he said.

“RWE’s plans for the medium and long-term future are anything but sustainable: RWE is earning money from the Ukraine war and is fuelling the global climate and biodiversity crisis with its business in the first half of his year RWE made most of its profits from the generation of electricity from lignite and from the trade in fossil fuels.”



Read Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Woodside Investor briefing here