Woodside boss calls for carbon price

Woodside
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman

Australia’s biggest oil and gas producer Woodside is calling for a carbon price, saying that the time to act on climate change is now.

Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman has joined mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto in calling for a price on carbon to help with emissions reductions targets and the transition to renewables.

“We need a price on carbon, we need to ensure that the most effective energy gets into the system,” Mr Coleman told the ABC.

“Our legacy needs to be one that both our children and our grandchildren are proud that their parents gave to them and that opportunity is now, so we think there is a will to act, the time is now, and we need to start having good policy debate.”

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor told ABC radio this morning that Australia doesn’t need a carbon price as emissions levels are coming down. He also noted that the companies would benefit economically from putting a higher price on carbon.

“There is almost no other country in the world that has the credentials of Australia in reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Taylor said.

“We are bringing emissions down, and we’re doing extremely well.”

This may be so for the electricity sector, but carbon emissions from other sectors have increased, driven by LNG production. Globally, just yesterday it was revealed carbon emissions were on the increase, despite the Paris targets.

The backing of a carbon tax by Mr Coleman is a reversal of the company’s stance several years ago when the Gillard Government introduced the carbon pricing scheme. Then-Woodside chief Don Volte vehemently opposed the scheme.

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The announcement comes two weeks after a mining industry conference in Melbourne warned mining companies those that were unable to demonstrate a clear commitment to environmental and social responsibility will run the risk of losing financing, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

At the conference, leaders from Australian and international companies discussed how concerns over sustainability and climate change were driving investment decisions.