Woodside defends 'honest' response to climate change

Woodside Energy has doubled down on its response to climate change with a warning to investors about eroding value with any drastic changes to investment plans.

"We are being honest about the energy transition," Woodside chair Richard Goyder said in a letter to shareholders on Tuesday that was issued on the ASX.

In response to investor criticism, Woodside will put its climate disclosures to a vote of shareholders at this year's annual general meeting.

Mr Goyder said it was the board's view the company's Climate Transition Action Plan covers the challenges and demonstrates Woodside's plans and progress towards mitigating the risks of climate change.

"We believe that climate change is an urgent global challenge and that the energy sector has an important role to play in the transition to a net-zero world," he said.

"We are concerned that some stakeholders' and investors' requests to drastically change Woodside's strategy and investment priorities risk eroding value for all shareholders and contributing to a disorderly energy transition," he warned.

Woodside's approach was aligned with the Paris Agreement and offered a "well-considered and realistic pathway" for protecting shareholder value and mitigating the long-term risks to the company's business model, he said.

Facing a re-election battle at the AGM on April 24, Mr Goyder told shareholders he was up for the challenge but said the board would "evolve".

Mr Goyder, who recently left his post as Qantas chair as the airline tackles reputational issues, said he had "never been more energised and excited" at the prospect of serving as chair of Woodside.

He said the 2050 vision for Woodside was to be a successful energy company, having responded to customers' and society's needs in a competitive and commercial way.

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