Equinor Exits Australia’s Oil and Gas Lobby Group

Equinor exits Australia’s oil and gas lobby group

But the Norwegian firm decides to remain in the American Petroleum Institute

The decision by Norwegian oil company Equinor to exit the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) will likely add pressure on others to follow suit as more companies make public commitments to net zero emissions by 2050.

In its 2020 review, Equinor identified it was misaligned with APPEA's position on a number of key climate policy areas, including carbon pricing and using carryover credits from the Kyoto Protocol.

InfluenceMap’s assessment of APPEA shows it has lobbied against effective climate action in Australia. It scores an 'E+' on InfluenceMap's A-to-F scale of alignment with the Paris Agreement.

"The APPEA has long been a powerful voice in Australia that has worked to block and weaken the ambition of various climate change policies," InfluenceMap Program Manager Faye Holder said.

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has used this influence to argue for the continued use of fossil fuels - particularly gas - as part of the country's economic recovery.

"As more investors seek transparency on the lobbying activities of companies and their industry associations, there will likely be pressure on other APPEA members to reconsider their ties to the group."

Equinor, however, has decided to remain a member of the American Petroleum Institute (API) after the Washington-based lobby group announced a new climate policy in March.

The Norwegian company, which has disclosed that it provides between $1 - $3.5m a year to the API, said it would "continue to engage with API and work with other members on API climate policy".

InfluenceMap's assessment of the API scores the group as an 'F', making it one of the most negative industry lobbyists globally when it comes to action on climate.

"Equinor says it is ‘committed to developing its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Agreement’, but its continued membership of the American Petroleum Institute undermines this promise,” Faye Holder said.

“The API says it supports the ambition of the Paris Agreement, but continues to lobby against specific policies required to achieve this.

“Even the API’s recent top-line support for carbon pricing does not necessarily commit the organization to backing specific pieces of regulation or legislation to enact it.”

In January, French oil major Total announced it was quitting the API because of differences in climate policy positions.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London)

simon.cullen( @ )influencemap.org