3 April 2020
At its annual general meeting today, one of Australia’s biggest gas companies, Santos, proved it has no future in the clean, green economy we need to rapidly transition to.
At the AGM, Santos fought tooth and nail against a shareholder proposal calling on the company to align with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
This proposal received a record level of support for a shareholder resolution requesting Paris-alignment, with 43% of investors voting in favour.
Santos’ opposition to the shareholder resolution calling for Paris-alignment demonstrates the company has no ability or willingness to transition to a business model consistent with holding global warming to 1.5°C.
The ‘base case’ scenario that underpins Santos’ asset valuations and strategy is aligned with Australia’s current emissions reduction policy, which is consistent with at least 3°C of global warming.
There is no justification for super funds continuing to invest our retirement savings in this company, whose business model relies on the failure of the Paris Agreement.
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Refusing to listen to affected community members
The COVID-19 health crisis forced today’s AGM to be held online. This meant that shareholders and proxies were required to submit questions online, some of which were answered by the Santos board.
However, some questions posed by representatives of communities impacted by Santos’ dirty gas operations were left unanswered by the company. It appears the company took advantage of the changed circumstances to deny shareholders and affected community members their rights to challenge the board over Santos’ impacts.
Polly Cutmore, a Gomeroi Traditional Owner from Moree in NSW submitted a question asking Santos to drop its dirty Narrabri gas project, which threatens precious country and water. The company did not even acknowledge Polly’s question, let alone respond to it.
Santos did take a question from health professionals over the climate impacts of the company’s gas expansion plans, as well as local health impacts of its fracking operations and plans. However, further questions on this issue were ignored.
The company’s auditors were also questioned over Santos’ highly optimistic oil price assumptions, with shareholders concerned these inflate Santos’ asset valuations, and fail to present a true and fair view of the company’s financial position.
Dr Melissa Haswell’s Q about #gas, esp on the #unborn, #infants, #children at #SantosAGM2020 went unanswered. Here it is again @SantosLtd. https://t.co/zz5h65yZIr via @YouTube @market_forces @DocsEnvAus @HealthyFuturez @im4empowerment @LockTheGate @HESTASuper #ClimateHealth— #HealthyEnvironments (@WePublicHealth) April 3, 2020