Today, we've made incredible progress in bringing about change at Woodside's Annual General Meeting, where a historic vote of 16.6% against Chairperson Richard Goyder was recorded. Given it is a vote against a chair who has no succession plan – that should make the next director up for re-election nervous. 

We also saw a world-record backlash against any fossil fuel company's climate strategy with 58.36% of shareholders showing their dissatisfaction with Woodside's plan – the only time that a company has ever lost majority support over climate, beating the previous record by nearly 10%. 

This is the largest vote against a company’s climate strategy ever – not just in Australia, but in the world!

Our big backyard is at breaking point. The world has just experienced its hottest March on record, forests in Western Australia are on the brink of collapse, and on the other side of our country the Great Barrier Reef has just had its most severe coral bleaching event ever recorded.

This climate destruction we’re witnessing is fuelled by burning fossil fuels and Woodside Energy – the largest Australian-owned climate polluter – is planning to massively expand climate-wrecking gas projects. If Woodside’s plans are given the green light by the Albanese Government, our Reef, precious forests and communities will suffer.

Bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Xanthe Rivett

Woodside’s plan to ramp up climate pollution 

Woodside’s Burrup Hub mega gas expansion in Western Australia would be a climate and nature disaster. If it goes ahead, over its lifetime this project will emit more than six billion tonnes of climate-wrecking pollution, 13 times more pollution than Australia’s total annual emissions. 

Woodside’s plans are reckless, partly because the facilities they currently run are spewing out more pollution than allowed under the government’s Safeguard Mechanism.* ACF’s analysis of the Safeguard Mechanism data has found that in the 2023 financial year, Woodside’s North-West Shelf Project had a pollution blowout of 168,773 tonnes CO2e, making this project the second-highest polluting facility in the country, releasing almost seven million tonnes of climate-heating pollution.  

* Companies can pollute beyond the Safeguard Mechanism limit if they purchase carbon credits (which are known to be an unreliable method of abatement). 

If this pollution blowout was a facility, it would be one of the largest 200 polluters in the country!

Disrupting Woodside’s destruction 

This week Woodside’s plans were disrupted by ordinary Australians standing up for a safer future.  

More than 10,000 Australians urged their super funds to hold Woodside’s board to account, and the superfunds acted. Because superfunds own supersized shares in big businesses like Woodside, they have a supersized say in how these companies act.  

In the lead up to Woodside’s AGM, thousands upon thousands of members urged their super funds to take a stand against Woodside’s climate destruction and to vote against the chair of the company.  

Retirees Dave & Ruth Hudspeth urged their superfund Australian Super to stand up to Woodside Energy.

“I'm concerned about Woodside's fossil fuel expansion because we can't afford to have new coal or gas.” 


Australian Super members David and Ruth Hudspeth. Photo: ACF

On Wednesday, Woodside faced a public backlash because of their climate inaction. Big business is on notice, this is a warning that Woodside can’t ignore. To everyone who urged their superfunds to vote for people and planet, thank you! 

"This is a globally unprecedented rejection of a company’s inaction on climate change and it wouldn’t have happened without over ten thousands Australians like you who urged their fund to challenge the company publicly."

Jonathan Moylan, Corporate Campaigner

The next step in stopping Woodside’s climate destruction 

Together we stood against corporate greed which threatens the future of Australian communities and the places we love. And together we can do more to stop Woodside’s destructive plans to expand polluting gas production.  

Our elected representatives in parliament can act to protect us from more climate chaos. The Albanese Government must reject Woodside's plans and stop all new fossil fuel projects. Australians deserve a future where people and the places we love are protected from harm.  

Join a Rise Up for climate event this May, or donate $58 (in honour of the 58% vote against Woodside's climate plan) to help us take on climate-wrecking companies like Woodside in court.

Jonathan Moylan

Corporate Campaigner, ACF