19 May 2017
After months of pressure from shareholders, Oil Search confirmed at their AGM today that the company would commit to conduct and release an analysis of how it performs in a scenario where global warming is contained to 2 degrees and 1.5 degrees. The company would also adopt the Financial Stability Board’s recommendations on climate change risk disclosure when they were finalised in June 2017. These recommendations were central to a resolution coordinated by Market Forces, which was due to be voted on at the AGM.
Market Forces Executive Director Julien Vincent addressed the AGM and withdrew the resolution on the basis of the progress that had been made, making clear that investors need to know whether the companies they are invested in will be compatible with a decarbonised economy.
The commitments of Oil Search stand in contrast to those of Santos, which told shareholders at its AGM that when conducting scenario analysis on future scenarios for global warming, it adopts a 4 degree pathway, essentially basing future business plans on a scenario where the climate changes to a point that is sustainable for only a fraction of today’s population.
Human rights concerns
Also at today’s AGM, Oil Search came under fire for its human rights record, with another resolution lodged by shareholders aiming to bolster the company’s human rights commitments and reporting structures, in light of the volatile political climate, serious unpaid benefits issues and recent deployments of military around the PNG LNG pipeline.
Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, told the AGM: