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Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), one of the world’s leading active investment managers, has announced today that it intends to cast its proxy vote against item 6, Climate Transition Action Plan and 2023 Progress report at the upcoming annual general meeting of the shareholders of Woodside Energy Group Ltd. on 24 Apr 2024. It will also vote against Resolution 2a, the re-election of the board chair.

Matt Christensen, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing at AllianzGI, commented: “In our view, Woodside Energy does not reflect a sufficient level of action to meet Paris Agreement commitments. Woodside Energy’s recently published Climate Transition Action Plan and 2023 Progress report includes several points of improvement, such as scaling back the use of carbon credits for scope 1 & 2 emissions as well as specifying an emissions abatement target on its Scope 3 approach. However, we think that it is likely to still fall short of a Paris Alignment aligned trajectory, something which we have previously discussed with the company and are looking forward to continuing to engage upon following the AGM. Moreover, for companies where climate is a material issue, we view the board as ultimately accountable for the development of a transition plan, and consequently we will not be able to support the re-election of the chair of the board, Mr Richard Goyder.”.

Allianz Global Investors does not exclude investments in the oil & gas sector, because it presently provides critically important services by supplying a significant proportion of the energy mix in many markets. However, AllianzGI does so with the expectation that the sector overall, and its portfolio companies in particular, will chart their own path to adapt to a future that is sustainable. This will aid efforts to control climate change within recognised targeted levels, primarily the Paris Agreement, therefore reducing associated financial risks to us and our clients as providers of capital.

For companies in high emitting sectors, beyond a strong commitment, AllianzGI is expecting action. Strong mid-term Scope 1 & 2 emission reductions are important, and we expect to see what these are on a gross basis, the use of carbon credits here being inappropriate. Companies should demonstrate their commitment to transition products and technologies backed by capital investment. Finally, AllianzGI expects to see evidence of companies working to responsibly reduce emissions further down the chain with Scope 3.

Earlier this year, AllianzGI published its annual analysis of how it voted at AGMs in 2023 around the globe, based on its participation in 9,137 (2022: 10,205) shareholder meetings and voting on close to 100,000 (95,512) shareholder and management proposals. AllianzGI voted against, withheld or abstained from at least one agenda item at 71% (2022: 69%) of all meetings globally. It opposed 18% of capital-related proposals, 24% of director elections and 41% of remuneration-related proposals globally reflecting high expectations on governance standards.

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