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Transforming Australia's biggest climate polluter

AGL's transformation from Australia's biggest climate polluter to one of Australia's biggest climate solutions is now well underway. It has been one of the most dramatic in Australian corporate history.

Our new film Power Play is the story of how Greenpeace and our supporters, along with a diverse group of people and organisations waged a strategic campaign against AGL and its leadership team; challenging the company's false clean and green image, turning away its customers, threatening its funding sources, and convincing its shareholders to take action.



AGL: Australia's Biggest Climate Polluter

AGL advertised itself to the Australian public as green and environmentally responsible. But a deeper dive into the company revealed this couldn't be further from the truth.

A Greenpeace investigation revealed that AGL was Australia’s biggest climate polluter by a long shot. 85% of their electricity came from burning coal, and as the owners and operators of three of the largest coal-burning power stations in the country, they were acting as a dam wall to a flood of renewable energy into Australia.

We knew that if we want to transform Australia's energy system, we needed to start with AGL.

2048 is too late

AGL planned to burn coal until 2048, 18 years past the deadline given by the UN and the International Energy Agency if we wanted to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.

42 million tonnes

AGL releases 42 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere each year. This is more than double Australia's next biggest polluter.



From climate polluter to renewable energy powerhouse

Over the course of 18 months, Greenpeace and our supporters exposed AGL as Australia's biggest climate polluter, won against AGL in court, shone a spotlight on their failing leadership, and mobilised their customers and staff to call for change. With Mike-Cannon Brookes powerfully buying a big stake in the company, we then worked with a diverse group of people, organisations and shareholders to help block AGL's demerger plans.

AGL has now brought forward their coal closure deadlines to 2035, 13 years earlier than originally planned. While this is still 5 years too late, we're confident that with the right leadership team now in place these coal closure timelines will continue to come forward.

Key Campaign Moments

MAY 2021 - Greenpeace investigation released

Greenpeace released detailed investigative report Coal-faced into AGL and their impact on the climate, health and local communities.

MAY 2021 - Greenpeace parody campaign launches

Greenpeace launched a major digital parody and street poster "brand jam" ad campaign, calling out AGL as Australia's biggest climate polluter.

JUNE 2021 - Greenpeace wins against AGL in court

Immediately following the launch of our campaign, AGL sued. After a rapid court process Greenpeace overwhelmingly wins the court case against AGL, setting a new legal precedent for freedom of expression.

JUNE 2021 - AGL announces plan to demerge company

AGL provided details around their plan to split the company into two, to hide their highly polluting coal power stations behind a new company Accel.

AUGUST 2021 - Ash for Director campaign launches/h3>

Greenpeace supported 18 year old Ashjayeen Sharif to run as a Director for the AGL Board, highlighting the major failings of the AGL Board. This campaign helped force AGL to publicly commit to appointing skilled climate and ESG experts to the Board.

AUGUST 2021 - Greenpeace launches campaign to AGL shareholders

Greenpeace launched a campaign calling on AGLs shareholders to vote for climate friendly resolutions at the companies upcoming annual general meeting.

AUGUST 2021- ACCR launches AGL climate resolution

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) launched a climate-focussed shareholder resolution to be voted on at AGL's Annual General Meeting.

SEPTEMBER 2021 - Climate concerns dominate at AGL's annual general meeting.

In an unprecedented investor revolt, 54% of shareholders supported ACCR's resolution calling on the company to disclose interim emissions targets aligned with the Paris climate goals.

OCTOBER 2021 - AGLs biggest customer decarbonises

After campaigning by Greenpeace and other environmental organisations Rio Tinto announced it would be decarbonising its aluminium smelters by 2030. This meant AGLs Bayswater power station would lose over 50% of its demand by 2030.

DECEMBER 2021 - Banks campaign

Greenpeace launches a public campaign targeting Australia’s big four banks calling on them to rule out funding AGL.

FEBRUARY 2022 - AGL takeover bid

Mike-Cannon Brookes and Brookfield launch bid to takeover AGL, drawing a huge amount of attention, and criticism, to AGL’s plans to demerge. After two attempts the Board rejects the bids.

MARCH 2022 - Greenpeace launches campaign opposing AGLs demerger

Greenpeace launches the ‘Too Big to Hide’ campaign, opposing AGL’s demerger. The campaign launches with a giant inflatable coal prop right outside AGL HQ in Melbourne.

APRIL 2022 - Shareholder campaign

Greenpeace launches a campaign under the ‘Progress for AGL’ brand, calling on AGLs shareholders to vote against AGLs demerger. Greenpeace also meets with AGL’s top investors and key proxy advisors.

MAY 2022 - AGL dumps demerger and leadership team

After Mike Cannon Brookes purchases a large share in AGL and numerous shareholders come out in opposition to the demerger, AGL dumps its demerger plans and its leadership team. AGL begins a strategic review of the company.

SEPTEMBER 2022 - Coal closure brought forward to 2035

AGL announces new decarbonisation plan which includes bringing forward the closure of Loy Yang A power station to 2035 and a commitment to replace coal with $12 billion worth of new renewable energy.

NOVEMBER 2022 - AGL get new leaders for a new era

New independent directors join AGLs board, with aspirations to further accelerate AGLs coal closure timelines.



Help us win our next big campaign: Woodside

Greenpeace does not shy away at all from taking on the biggest challenges of our times and tackling the most serious threats to nature and climate. 

The next challenge is Australia’s biggest new climate-wrecking project - Woodside’s huge toxic offshore gas drilling in Western Australia. These plans include drilling in stunning ocean habitat - home to whales, turtles, sharks and corals. But together, just like with AGL, we have the power to stop Woodside in their tracks. We have the power to ensure that renewable energy wins the race over dirty gas, just like it is now with dirty coal.
Let’s do this again together - join the campaign!


Get involved

This campaign was 100% funded by people just like you

All of Greenpeace's campaigns are 100% funded by generous supporters like you. This ensures that we can stay independent and fight solely for the benefit of the environment without being influenced by any groups with vested interests.

Will you chip in to help us keep fighting for the future of our planet?