On 25 August, 2022, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility ("ACCR") expanded its case against the Australian gas company, Santos Ltd. ("Santos"), with new and more detailed allegations around greenwashing.

Last year, ACCR filed a consumer protection lawsuit with the Federal Court of Australia regarding certain misleading or deceptive statements Santos made relating to its clean energy claims and net-zero representations in the 2020 Annual Report (which we reported here). This was the first lawsuit in the world challenging the veracity of a company's net-zero emissions target,and it raises important questions about the viability of carbon capture and storage and the environmental impacts of hydrogen as an alternative energy source to gas companies.

Following disclosure in the discovery process of the lawsuit, the Environmental Defenders Office ("EDO"), on behalf of ACCR, filed to expand the case to include alleged greenwashing in Santos' 2020 Investor Day Briefing and 2021 Climate Change Report. The EDO also added allegations regarding blue hydrogen and net zero plan representations, and asserts such representations lacked reasonable basis and sufficient detail to be put into the market.

ACCR's case is an example of activists commencing litigation to bring pressure to bear on corporates and their climate-related commitments and public disclosures. As corporates globally have increasingly made public claims regarding their own clean energy and zero emission targets, the progress of this case will continue to be closely followed well beyond Australia's shores.

Visit us at mayerbrown.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe - Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2020. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.