InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Adelaide, Australia
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Santos actively supports the continued role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, particularly fossil gas, despite positive top-line messaging on climate change. There is limited evidence of engagement by Santos on specific climate-related regulation, although the company retains memberships to a number of industry associations which engage negatively on climate policy in Australia.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Santos appears to have broadly positive top-line communications on climate change. In Santos’ 2021 Climate Change Report, the company recognized the need to limit global warming to 2°C. However, the company has not explicitly supported the need for economy-wide emissions reductions in line with net-zero by 2050. Santos has stated support for the Paris Agreement in its 2021 climate change policy document. In a September 2021 speech, CEO Kevin Gallagher stated that operationalizing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement should be the priority at COP26. In the companies 2021 industry association review, it stated that it supported a national policy approach to tackle climate change.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Santos has limited transparent engagement with specific climate change policies in recent years and has not responded to CDP’s climate change questionnaire in 2021. In November 2019, Santos reportedly supported the use of funds under Australia’s federal Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), originally intended for renewable energy projects, to support a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project for an existing gas facility. In April 2019, Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher stressed the need for consultation with industry on the design of the Safeguard Mechanism, but did not take a clear position on the policy.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Santos supports the role of oil and fossil gas in the energy mix, with a mixed position on coal. In May 2021, Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher appeared to state support for the National Gas Infrastructure Plan (‘gas-fired recovery’), as well as new gas developments while in July 2021, Gallagher opposed the decision by the NSW government to reduce the area where coal gas exploration can proceed, stating that the development of gas resources was needed to replace Australia’s reliance on imports.

In a September 2020 press release, CEO Kevin Gallagher supported a continued role for coal, oil and gas in the energy mix for “at least the next two decades” alongside technologies such as CCS. However, Gallagher has also reportedly supported a shift from coal to fossil gas and clean fuels such as hydrogen in a December 2020 Sydney Morning Herald article. In Santos’ 2020 corporate reporting, the company has consistently supported the role of fossil gas in the energy mix on the basis that it is “low carbon”, without placing clear conditions on the deployment of CCS or methane abatement measures.

Santos stated in its 2020 Review of Industry Associations that it derives “significant benefits” from public policy advocacy undertaken by the Australian Petroleum Producers and Exploration Association (APPEA), especially in regard to developing an “internationally competitive investment environment” for the Australian oil and gas sector, suggesting support for further investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.

Industry Association Governance: In December 2021, Santos published a review of its alignment on climate change with ten industry associations. The review did not identify any cases of misalignment, nor did it disclose a framework for dealing with potential cases of misalignment. However, Santos retains membership to a number of industry associations that lobby against ambitious climate policy, including the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), at which Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher sits on the board.

*A detailed assessment of the company's industry association review can be found on our CA100+ webpage here.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.