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Woodside dramatically expands oil and gas exploration spend despite net zero pledge

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Woodside Energy, Australia's largest oil and gas producer, has increased its investment in fossil fuel exploration significantly, from $96 million in 2021 to $418 million in 2022, despite its aspiration to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 
• This rise in investment follows the acquisition of BHP's global oil and gas assets and contradicts the company's stated environmental goals

🔭 The context: The Australian Conservation Foundation's report criticizes Woodside for focusing on controversial carbon offsets to claim an 11% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions, while its actual carbon emissions from operations have increased by 3% 
• The report also highlights that Woodside's net-zero goal does not account for scope 3 emissions, which represent 92% of its climate impact

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Woodside's expansion into new gas fields and oil developments, alongside reliance on carbon offsets, raises concerns about the effectiveness and sincerity of corporate commitments to reducing climate pollution 
• This approach has been criticized as greenwashing, potentially undermining global efforts to tackle climate change

⏭️ What's next: Woodside plans to release its 2023 climate transition action plan, which will likely address its climate strategies and goals 
• Meanwhile, debates continue over the role of natural gas in transitioning away from coal, amidst calls for deep cuts in absolute emissions to meet the Paris agreement goals

💬 One quote: "Net zero greenwashing poses a serious risk to humanity’s ability to tackle global warming, as it distracts from and delays concrete and credible action," said Audrey van Herwaarden, a corporate environmental performance analyst at the Australian Conservation Foundation

📈 One stat: Woodside's exploration spending jumped to $418 million in 2022, underlining the company's aggressive expansion into new fossil fuel projects despite its net-zero aspirations

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