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Shareholders reject Woodside’s “Climate” Plan

Nearly 60% of shareholders at this year’s Woodside AGM in Perth voted down the company’s climate transition action plan, which focuses on reducing company emissions rather than establishing a clear strategy for moving beyond fossil fuels. The vote comes as government figures showed Western Australia's emissions are climbing well above 2005 levels.

The result is not binding on the company but the fact that 58.4% of shareholders rejected the plan shows substantial dissatisfaction with Woodside's direction. The last time the plan was put to a shareholder vote, in 2022, it was approved by a narrow majority of 51 per cent.

Woodside also suffered an embarrassing 17% vote against the re-election of its Chair, Richard Goyder, an indictment of Woodside’s failure to take the energy transition seriously, given the average ASX 50 director is usually re-elected with 96.5% support.

Environmental and climate campaigners say the company's plans, including the ongoing development of its $12 billion Scarborough LNG project as part of the Burrup Hub — the nation's largest oil and gas development — will slow efforts to address global emissions and climate change not just for Australia but around the world.

CEO Meg O'Neill said Woodside was keen to understand shareholder concerns, but emissions reductions took time.

"The world wants reliable energy, they want cheap energy, they want green energy, and they want all of those three things tomorrow," she said. "I give you our commitment that we will set goals and make decisions informed by the available science, in line with our capital allocation framework, and with our commitment to energy security front of mind. We will also keep listening and responding to you, our investors, as we continue to develop our strategy to thrive through the energy transition."

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