13 April 2023
HESTA last week lodged a formal vote calling on oil and gas company Santos to wind up oil and gas production in line with a net zero emissions by 2050 pathway. This is a great sign HESTA is taking members’ concerns seriously, but with Santos still pursuing several new oil and gas projects that would lock in further emissions for decades to come, HESTA must now draw a line in the sand.
We already know there can be no new oil and gas fields developed if we’re to have a fighting chance of meeting the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Yet Santos is still planning to spend billions on new oil and gas projects that would see the company’s overall emissions increase 40% by 2030.
While HESTA has finally put some pressure on Santos, the fund must now ramp up its action and commit to divesting from Santos if the company continues pursuing new fossil fuel projects.
Santos’ oil and gas projects are not just damaging to a safe climate future. Tiwi Islands and Gomeroi Traditional Owners attended Santos’ AGM last week to voice opposition to Santos’ Barossa and Narrabri gas projects, as the company does not have the free, prior and informed consent of these Traditional Owner groups. This was in the same week that Tiwi Islands Traditional Owners filed human rights complaints with Australian and international banks – including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac – over their involvement in financing Santos and its Barossa project.
The good news is HESTA appears to be finally coming around to the idea that meeting global climate goals means no new fossil fuels. Now, more than ever, is the time to keep up the pressure on HESTA and demand the fund stop investing members’ retirement savings in climate-wrecking fossil fuel expansion.
Demand HESTA take further action at Santos.