Could this nation-first action make an investment in Woodside shares cleaner?

A woman has a big smile on her face as she gets green paint powder tipped all over her.A woman has a big smile on her face as she gets green paint powder tipped all over her.

The Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) share price is in the red on Friday, down 3.27% to $31.38.

The whole market is down today, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) dipping 2.26%.

Earlier today, Woodside announced it was the first Australasian company to sign the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative.

This means the energy producer is committed to “striving to reach near-zero methane emissions from its operated assets by 2030″.

What does methane do to our climate?

In its non-market statement today, Woodside said methane was the second-worst greenhouse gas contributing to climate change after carbon dioxide.

Woodside cited a 2021 International Energy Agency paper that said methane had caused about 30% of the rise in global temperature.

The Aiming for Zero initiative is led by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which in turn is led by a bunch of CEOs who are trying to accelerate the industry’s response to climate change.

The OGCI aims to reduce the average methane intensity of oil and gas operations. It wants to drive it down from 0.3% in 2017 to well below 0.2% by 2025.

Other big global companies that have signed the initiative include BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell.

Does this make Woodside shares cleaner?

Woodside is already compliant with the initiative’s demands. Its 2021 methane emissions were less than 0.1% of production by volume. So, signing into the initiative doesn’t appear to make Woodside shares a cleaner investment.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said:

Woodside’s historic focus on managing methane emissions means that we are already at less than 0.1% of our production by volume — well below the OGCI’s 2025 methane intensity target …

Minimising methane emissions has historically been a priority for Woodside. For example, frontline engineering, operations and maintenance staff are empowered to understand and act on methane emissions to support a sustainable ‘find and fix’ philosophy that can be implemented by site personnel.

OGCI executive committee chair Bjørn Otto Sverdrup said:

We hope other producers, from Australasia and beyond, will join Woodside in recognising that eliminating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry represents one of the best short-term ways to address climate change.

Signatories of the initiative pledge to report annually on their methane emissions. They also commit to using “all reasonable means to avoid methane venting and flaring, and to repair detected leaks”.

What Woodside is doing on climate change

Woodside has committed to reducing its net equity Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2025. Its goal for 2030 takes it further — to 30%.

In its half-year report, Woodside said it has a “strategy to thrive through the energy transition as a low-cost, lower-carbon energy provider”.

As we reported recently, Woodside aims to invest $5 billion in new energy products and lower-carbon services by 2030.

Among its projects is a proposed liquid hydrogen project in the United States. There’s also a proposed “world-scale liquid hydrogen and ammonia production facility” in Perth.

The post Could this nation-first action make an investment in Woodside shares cleaner? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has positions in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended BP. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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