Woodside has announced it will be going ahead with the largest new gas project in Australia for at least a decade – the $16.5 billion Scarborough gas project off the West Australian coast.

Woodside’s Chief Executive Officer Meg O’Neill said it was a “fantastic time for Woodside,” despite the company receiving significant criticism from a coalition of environmental groups.

Ms O’Neill said the company accepted “the science of climate change” and supported the Paris Accord, having committed to a pathway of “net zero by 2050, if not sooner”.

“That said, the world still needs oil and gas,” she said.

“The IEA and their net zero 2050 report estimated that $350 billion a year need to be spent to continue oil and gas development to continue on that net zero pathway.

Ms O’Neill said the new gas project would not be replacing renewable energy, as argued by think tank, The Australia Institute.

“The size of the energy systems in the countries where we sell our product … if you look at the mix of energy sources they use today, renewables will be part of the mix going forward, but gas absolutely has a very important role to play,” Ms O’Neill said.

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