Woodside's claim that its proposed Browse mega-gas project off Western Australia's coast aligns with the Paris climate targets is not just alarming but "certifiably insane", climate investment activists say.
The Perth-headquartered energy giant released a 1668-page environmental impact statement for the proposed Browse to North West Shelf project on Thursday, in line with requirements by the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
The report said the project emissions would stay within agreed limits under a mechanism which would ensure Australia meets its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
The project would send feed gas from fields in the offshore Browse Basin, 290km northwest of Broome, to be processed at the North West Shelf Karratha gas plant.
Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill said the project, if it were to go ahead, would contribute to WA's energy security and that of the Asia Pacific region, with production capacity of 11.4 million tonnes of LNG, LPG and domestic gas.
"The processing of Browse gas through the Karratha Gas Plant could provide energy needed in Western Australia and overseas, while providing jobs and taxation revenue that support our host communities," she said.
Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility lead carbon analyst Alex Hillman said Browse would result in more than 1.6 billion tonnes of emissions.
"When the International Energy Agency clearly states that no new oil and gas projects can be approved in a 1.5C scenario, Woodside's claim that Browse is Paris aligned is not just alarming but certifiably insane," Mr Hillman said.
"Browse is yesterday's false solution to today's energy crisis. It can't start producing until 2030 and will continue causing climate damage beyond 2060."
Mr Hillman said Woodside's report relied purely on offsetting emissions.
The company said the statement included comprehensive detail of potential environmental impacts, proposed mitigations and management measures.
The federal climate change and environment agency will prepare a recommendation report and provide it to the minister.
The corresponding state environmental review will be published once accepted by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority.